Inhibition of acetylcholinesterase from Electrophorus electricus (L.) by tricyclic antidepressants

The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology
N Nunes-TavaresA Hassón-Voloch


The effects of tricyclic antidepressants drugs (TCA) amitriptyline, imipramine and nortriptyline, on purified Electrophorus electricus (L.) acetylcholinesterase (AChE; acetylcholine hydrolase, EC were studied using kinetic methods and specific fluorescent probe propidium. The antidepressants inhibited AChE activity by a non-competitive mechanism. Inhibition constants range from 200 to 400 microM. Dimethylated amitriptyline and imipramine were more potent inhibitors than the monomethylated nortriptyline. Fluorescence measurements using bis-quaternary ligand propidium were used to monitor ligand-binding properties of these cationic antidepressants to the AChE peripheral anionic site (PAS). This ligand exhibited an eight-fold fluorescence enhancement upon binding to the peripheral anionic site of AChE from E. electricus (L.) with K(D)=7 x 10(-7)M. It was observed that TCA drugs displaced propidium from the enzyme. On the basis of the displacement experiments antidepressant dissociation constants were determined. Similar values for the inhibition constants suggest that these drugs have similar affinity to the peripheral anionic site. The results also indicate that the catalytic active center of AChE does not participate in...Continue Reading


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