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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 May 15;88(10):4210-4.

Mixed inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme (EC and enkephalinase (EC rational design, properties, and potential cardiovascular applications of glycopril and alatriopril.

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  • 1Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Centre Paul Broca, Paris, France.


Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) and enkephalinase, two cell surface metallopeptidases, are responsible for angiotensin II formation and atrial natriuretic factor (ANF) degradation, respectively, and thereby play a critical role in the metabolism of hormonal peptides exerting essentially opposite actions in cardiovascular regulations. To affect simultaneously both hormonal systems by a single molecular structure, we have designed glycoprilat and alatrioprilat [(S)-N-[3-(3,4-methylene-dioxyphenyl)-2-(mercaptomethyl)-1-oxoprop yl] glycine and -alanine, respectively]. In vitro the two compounds inhibit both ACE and enkephalinase activities with similar, nanomolar potencies, and in vivo, glycopril and alatriopril, the corresponding diester prodrugs, occupy the two enzyme molecules in lung at similar low dosages (0.2-0.5 mg/kg of body weight, per os). The high potency of these compounds is attributable to interaction of the methylenedioxy group with the S1 subsite of ACE and of the aromatic ring with the S1' subsite of enkephalinase. In rodents, low doses of these mixed inhibitors exert typical actions of ACE inhibitors--i.e., prevention of angiotensin I-induced hypertension--as well as of enkephalinase inhibitors--i.e., protection from 125I-ANF degradation or enhancement of diuresis and natriuresis following acute extracellular volume expansion. In view of the known counterbalanced physiological actions of the two hormonal peptides, whose metabolism is controlled by ACE and enkephalinase, mixed inhibitors of the two peptidases show promise for the treatment of various cardiovascular and salt-retention disorders.

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