N(ω)-nitroarginine-containing dipeptide amides. Potent and highly selective inhibitors of neuronal nitric oxide synthase

Hui Huang, Pavel Martasek, Linda J. Roman, Bettie Sue Siler Masters, Richard B. Silverman

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82 Scopus citations


Selective inhibition of the isoforms of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) could be therapeutically useful in the treatment of certain disease states arising from the overproduction of nitric oxide (NO). Recently, we reported the dipeptide methyl ester, D-Phe-D-Arg(NO)2-OMe (19), as a modest inhibitor of nNOS (K(i) = 2 μM), but with selectivity over iNOS as high as 1800-fold (Silverman, R. B.; Huang, H.; Marletta, M. A:; Martasek, P. J. Med. Chem. 1997, 40, 2813-2817). Here a library of 152 dipeptide amides containing nitroarginine and amino acids other than Phe are synthesized and screened for activity. Excellent inhibitory potency and selectivity for nNOS over eNOS and iNOS is achieved with the dipeptide amides containing a basic amine side chain (20-24), which indicates a possible electrostatic (or hydrogen bonding) interaction at the enzyme active site. The most potent nNOS inhibitor among these compounds is L-Arg(NO)2-L-Dbu-NH2 (23) (K(i) = 130 nM), which also exhibits the highest selectivity over eNOS (> 1500-fold) with a 192-fold selectivity over iNOS. These compounds do not exhibit time-dependent inhibition. The order and the chirality of the amino acids in the dipeptide amides have profound influences on the inhibitory potency as well as on the isoform selectivity. These dipeptide amide inhibitors open the door to the design of potent and highly selective inhibitors of nNOS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3147-3153
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 12 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery


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