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Wein, Thomas; Höfner, Georg; Rappenglück, Sebastian; Sichler, Sonja; Niessen, Karin V.; Seeger, Thomas; Worek, Franz; Thiermann, Horst; Wanner, Klaus T. (2018): Searching for putative binding sites of the bispyridinium compound MB327 in the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. In: Toxicology Letters, Vol. 293: pp. 184-189
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Irreversible inhibition of the acetylcholine esterase upon intoxication with organophosphorus compounds leads to an accumulation of acetylcholine in the synaptic cleft and a subsequent desensitization of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors which may ultimately result in respiratory failure. The bispyridinium compound MB327 has been found to restore functional activity of nAChR thus representing a promising starting point for the development of new drugs for the treatment of organophosphate poisoning. In order to optimize the resensitizing effect of MB327 on nAChR, it would be very helpful to know the MB327 specific binding site to apply structure based molecular modeling. The binding site for MB327 at the nAChR is not known and so far goal of speculations, but it has been shown that MB327 does not bind to the orthosteric acetylcholine binding site. We have used docking calculations to screen the surface of nAChR for possible binding sites of MB327. The results indicate that at least two potential binding sites for MB327 at nAChR are present inside the channel pore. In these binding sites, MB327 intercalates between the gamma-alpha and ss-delta subunits of nAChR, respectively. Both putative MB327 binding sites show an unsymmetrical distribution of surrounding hydrophilic and lipophilic amino acids. This suggests that substitution of MB327-related bispyridinium compounds on one of the two pyridinium rings with polar substituents should have a favorable effect on the pharmacological function.