Investigation of the Active Site of Aminopeptidase A Using a Series of New Thiol-Containing Inhibitors

Eric N. Chauvel, Pascale Coric, Catherine Llorens-Cortés, Sherwin Wilk, Bernard P. Roques, Marie Claude Fournié-Zaluski

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60 Scopus citations


Aminopeptidase A (APA) and aminopeptidase N (APN) are two metallopeptidases which have been suggested to be involved in the enzymatic cascade of the renin-angiotensin system. APA liberates angotensin III from angiotensin II by releasing the N-terminal aspartate, and APN participates in the inactivation of angiotensin III. As the role of angiotensin III in the regulation of blood pressure in the central nervous system and at the periphery is controversial, it was of interest to develop selective and efficient inhibitors of APA. Starting from Glu-thiol,1 which was the first efficient APA inhibitor described, but however is equipotent on APA (Ki = 0.14 μM) and APN (Ki = 0.12 μM), β-amino thiols bearing various carboxyalkyl chains have been synthesized and their inhibitory potencies measured on both purified enzymes. Compounds containing a carboxylated aromatic ring inhibited APA and APN with Ki values in the micromolar range but were slightly more active on APA. Conversely, inhibitors containing a cyclohexyl ring were more efficient on APN. Various modifications of the structure of Glu-thiol decreased inhibitory activity on both enzymes but increased the selectivity for APA, and compound 9d ((S)-4-amino-6-mercaptohexanoic acid) was 23 times more potent on APA (Ki = 2.0 μM) than on APN (Ki = 45 μM).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1339-1346
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Apr 1994


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