A new series of 3-, 4-, 7-polysubstituted coumarins have been designed and evaluated for their monoamine oxidase A and monoamine oxidase B (MAO-A and MAO-B) inhibitory potency. Substituents at position 7 consisted of a bridge of different physicochemical nature linking a phenyl ring to the coumarin scaffold. Structure-affinity and structure-selectivity relationships, derived through CoMFA-GOLPE and docking studies, revealed the key physicochemical interactions responsible for the observed MAO-B and MAO-A inhibitory potency and suggested the main structural determinants for high selectivity toward one of the two enzymatic isoforms. The predictive power of our models was proved with the design of a new inhibitor demonstrating an outstanding MAO-B affinity (pIC50 = 8.29) and the highest MAO-B selectivity (DeltapIC50 = 3.39) within the entire series of ligands examined herein.
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