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Bioorg Chem. 2003 Oct;31(5):398-411.

Novel bisubstrate analog inhibitors of serotonin N-acetyltransferase: the importance of being neutral.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 725 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.


Linker modified novel bisubstrate analog inhibitors 4-7 for serotonin N-acetyltransferase (arylalkylamine N-acetyltransferase, AANAT) have been designed and synthesized. Examination of these inhibitors with AANAT in vitro suggested that: (i) linker hydrogen bonding makes only modest contributions to the affinity of bisubstrate analog inhibitors studied; (ii) greater than or equal to four methylene groups between the indole and the coenzyme A (CoASH) moieties are required for a bisubstrate analog inhibitor to achieve strong AANAT inhibition; (iii) the AANAT active site appears not to accommodate positively charged linkers as well as neutral ones; and (iv) substrate amine pKa depression may constitute one strategy for AANAT substrate recognition and catalysis. The results reported here have enhanced our understanding of AANAT substrate recognition/catalysis, and are important for novel inhibitor design. Since AANAT belongs to the GCN5-related N-acetyltransferase (GNAT) superfamily, our experimental strategies should find applications for other acetyltransferases.

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