Various natural products, such as physostigmine, have long been recognized as inhibitors of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. Since the recent approval of galanthamine for the treatment of Alzheimers disease by the blockage of acetylcholine degradation, attempts to find other inhibitors of the enzyme have multiplied, leading to promising candidates such as huperzine A. In this review, a listing is presented of natural product inhibitors, both alkaloid and nonalkaloid in origin. These have been isolated from plant, animal and microbial sources. Details of current testing methods on cholinesterases are given, including solution assays and screening techniques by TLC and HPLC.
Keywords: TLC Assays, HPLC Assay, Radiometric Method, AChE activity, Physostigmine, Huperzine A, Amaryllidaceae, Xanthone inhibitors
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