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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Oct 10;310(1):84-93.

Novel small molecule inhibitors of botulinum neurotoxin A metalloprotease activity.

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Developmental Therapeutics Program, NCI Frederick, Frederick, MD 21702, USA.


Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are among the most lethal biological substances to have been weaponized and are listed as biodefense category A agents. Currently, no small molecule (non-peptidic) therapeutics exist to counter this threat; hence, identifying and developing compounds that inhibit BoNTs is a high priority. In the present study, a high-throughput assay was used to identify small molecules that inhibit the metalloprotease activity of BoNT serotype A light chain (BoNT/A LC). All inhibitors were further verified using a HPLC-based assay. Conformational analyses of these compounds, in conjunction with molecular docking studies, were used to predict structural features that contribute to inhibitor binding and potency. Based on these results, a common pharmacophore for BoNT/A LC inhibitors is proposed. This is the first study to report small molecules (non-peptidics) that inhibit BoNT/A LC metalloprotease activity in the low microM range.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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