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Biochem J. Aug 1, 1981; 197(2): 465–471.
PMCID: PMC1163147

New renin inhibitors homologous with pepstatin.


Four homologues of pepstatin, the potent but poorly soluble inhibitor of aspartic proteinases, were synthesized by coupling to the C-terminus of the natural pentapeptide the following amino acid residues: L-arginine methyl ester, L-aspartic acid, L-glutamic acid and the dipeptide L-aspartyl-L-arginine. The peptide-coupling reagent we used, benzotriazolyloxytris(dimethylamino)phosphonium hexafluorophosphate, allowed us to obtain readily pure pepstatin homologues with high yields (60-83%). Pepstatylarginine methyl ester and pepstatylglutamic acid were about one order of magnitude more water-soluble than pepstatin. The four homologues and pepstatin were tested in vitro as inhibitors for highly purified pig and human renins acting on the N-acetyltetradecapeptide substrate. The 50% inhibitory concentrations (IC50) of the homologues were ranged from 0.01 to 1 microM against porcine renin at pH 6.0 (pepstatin IC50 approximately 0.32 microM) and from 5.8 to 41 microM against human renin at pH 6.5 (pepstatin IC 50 approximately 17 microM). By three different graphical methods we showed that pepstatin and the four homologues behaved as competitive inhibitors for porcine renin. The most potent inhibitors were pepstatylaspartic acid and pepstatylglutamic acid, with inhibitory constants respectively 2- and 10-fold smaller than that of pepstatin. By coupling glutamic acid to pepstatin, the ratio solubility/Ki was increased by two orders of magnitude.

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Selected References

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