Structure-based design and synthesis of Nω-nitro-L-arginine- containing peptidomimetics as selective inhibitors of neuronal nitric oxide synthase. Displacement of the heme structural water

Jiwon Seo, Jotato Igarashi, Huiying Li, Pavel Martásek, Linda J. Roman, Thomas L. Poulos, Richard B. Silverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

The neuronal isoform of nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), the enzyme responsible for the production of nitric oxide in the central nervous system, represents an attractive target for the treatment of various neurodegenerative disorders. X-ray crystal structures of complexes of nNOS with two nNOS-selective inhibitors, (4S)-N-{4-amino-5-[(2-aminoethylamino]pentyl}-N′- nitroguanidine (1) and 4-N-(Nω-nitro-L-argininyl)-trans-4-amino-L-proline amide (2), led to the discovery of a conserved structural water molecule that was hydrogen bonded between the two heme propionates and the inhibitors (Figure 2). On the basis of this observation, we hypothesized that by attaching a hydrogen bond donor group to the amide nitrogen of 2 or to the secondary amine nitrogen of 1, the inhibitor molecules could displace the structural water molecule and obtain a direct interaction with the heme cofactor. To test this hypothesis, peptidomimetic analogues 3-5, which have either an N-hydroxyl (3 and 5) or N-amino (4) donor group, were designed and synthesized. X-ray crystal structures of nNOS with inhibitors 3 and 5 bound verified that the N-hydroxyl group had, indeed, displaced the structural water molecule and provided a direct interaction with the heme propionate moiety (Figures 5 and 6). Surprisingly, in vitro activity assay results indicated that the addition of a hydroxyl group (3) only increased the potency slightly against the neuronal isoform over the parent compound (1). Rationalizations for the small increase in potency are consistent with other changes in the crystal structures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2089-2099
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Volume50
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - May 3 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery

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