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Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry

Active fragments-guided drug discovery and design of selective tropane alkaloids using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry coupled with virtual calculation and biological evaluation.


PMID 27796460

Abstract

Tropane alkaloids (TAs), rich in the plant of Physochlaina infundibularis Kuang, which is named Huashanshen (HSS) in China, showed good effects on types of spasms. However, no data were collected to explore the relationship between the specificity for muscarinic receptor subtypes and the structures of these TAs. To address this issue, an extracted ion chromatogram (EIC) strategy using ultra-high performance liquid chromatography-quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-Q/TOF-MS) based on the fragmentation behavior of the TA standards was established to rapidly capture the varied TAs from HSS. Based on the provided structural information of diagnostic ions or neutral loss, 29 TAs were efficiently profiled, especially some trace ingredients. In additional, via virtual validation combined with molecular dynamic simulation, approximately a dozen alkaloids were found with high selectivity for muscarinic receptors. In additional, N-acetyl convolicine was chosen for selectivity evaluation of M2 or M3 receptors through the use of a dual-luciferase reporter assay system at the cellular level and an ACh-induced constricted strip test in vitro. After summarizing the active fragments and the structure-activity relationship (SAR) information, a new modified TA that takes advantage of both the high affinity and high selectivity for M3 receptors was proposed and evaluated successfully. This study provided an effective approach for the discovery and design of natural products based on highly selective drugs by UPLC-Q/TOF-MS coupled with virtual calculation and biological evaluation. Graphical Abstract Active fragments-guided strategy for selective inhibitors from HSS.

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