The evaluation of 1,4-benzoquinones as inhibitors of human monoamine oxidase

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    The monoamine oxidase (MAO) enzymes are of considerable pharmacological interest and inhibitors are used in the clinic for the treatment of major depressive disorder and Parkinson's disease. A limited number of studies have shown that the quinone class of compounds possesses MAO inhibition properties. Most notable among these is a report that 2,3,6-trimethyl-1,4-naphthoquinone (TMN), present in extracts of cured tobacco leafs, is a non-selective inhibitor of both MAO isoforms. An older study reports that 1,4-benzoquinone inhibits MAO-A and MAO-B from human synaptosomes. Both 1,4-naphthoquinones and 1,4-benzoquinone are reported to inhibit the MAOs with a reversible mode of action. Since the MAO inhibition properties of additional members of the 1,4-benzoquinone class of compounds have not yet been explored, the present study investigates a small series of four 1,4-benzoquinones which incorporate phenyl, benzyl, benzyloxy and cyclopentyl monosubstitution on C2. The 1,4-benzoquinones were found to be moderately potent MAO inhibitors with IC50 values of 5.03–13.2 μM (MAO-A) and 3.69–23.2 μM (MAO-B). These values are comparable to those recorded for 1,4-benzoquinone of 4.82 μM (MAO-A) and 10.2 μM (MAO-B). Of interest however, is the finding that the 1,4-benzoquinones are irreversible inhibitors of MAO-A since prolonged incubation results in near complete inhibition, and enzyme activity is not recovered by dialysis. MAO-B is much less sensitive to inactivation by the 1,4-benzoquinones. These findings are discussed with reference to a possible mechanism by which irreversible inhibition occurs. It may be concluded that irreversible 1,4-benzoquinone-derived inhibitors may act as probes for investigating quinone reactive sites in the MAOs