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Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2003 May;228(5):486-90.

Novel inhibitors of neuronal nitric oxide synthase.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, University of Catania, Catania, Italy. cdigiaco@unict.it


Selective inhibitors of neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), which are devoid of any effect on the endothelial isoform (eNOS), may be required for the treatment of some neurological disorders. In our search for novel nNOS inhibitors, we recently described some 1-[(Aryloxy)ethyl]-1H-imidazoles as interesting molecules for their selectivity for nNOS against eNOS. This work reports a new series of 1-[(Aryloxy)alkyl]-1H-imidazoles in which a longer methylene chain is present between the imidazole and the phenol part of molecule. Some of these molecules were found to be more potent nNOS inhibitors than the parent ethylenic compounds, although this increase in potency resulted in a partial loss of selectivity. The most interesting compound was investigated to establish its mechanism of action and was found to interact with the tetrahydrobiopterin (BH(4)) binding site of nNOS, without interference with any other cofactors or substrate binding sites.

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