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J Med Chem. 1992 Feb 21;35(4):641-62.

Inhibition of human leukocyte elastase (HLE) by N-substituted peptidyl trifluoromethyl ketones.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Ridgefield, Connecticut 06877.


A series of tripeptides possessing trifluoromethyl or aryl ketone residues at P1 were prepared and evaluated both in vitro and in vivo as potential inhibitors of human leukocyte elastase (HLE). Tripeptides containing non naturally occurring N-substituted glycine residues at the P2-position have been demonstrated to be potent in vitro inhibitors of HLE, with IC50 values in the submicromolar range. Sterically demanding substituents on the P2-nitrogen have no detrimental effect on in vitro potency. The inhibition process presumably acts via hemiketal formation with the active site Ser195 of HLE, and is facilitated by the strongly electron withdrawing trifluoromethyl functionality. Deletion of the amino acid at the P3-subsite region affords inactive compounds. Valine is the preferred residue at the P1-position, whereas the corresponding glycine, alanine, alpha,alpha-dimethylglycine, or phenylalanine analogues are all inactive. The compounds described herein all confer a high degree of in vitro specificity when tested against representative cysteine, aspartyl, metallo, and other serine proteases. One of the most potent in vitro inhibitors is (3RS)-N-[4-[[[(4-chlorophenyl)sulfonyl]amino]carbonyl]phenyl] oxomethyl]-L-valyl-N-(2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-2-yl)glycine N-[3-(1,1,1-trifluoro-4-methyl-2-oxopentyl)]amide (20i; BI-RA-260) (IC50 = 0.084 microM). Compound 20i was also tested in hamsters in an elastase-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EPH) model. In this model, intratracheal (it.) administration of 20i, 5 min prior to HLE challenge, effectively inhibited hemorrhage in a dose-dependent manner with an ED50 of 4.8 micrograms. The inhibitor 20i, 20 micrograms administered it. 24, 48, and 72 h prior to HLE challenge, exhibits significant inhibition against hemorrhage at all time points (97%, 64% and 49%, respectively). In a 21-day chronic model of emphysema in hamsters, 200 micrograms of HLE administered it. caused an elastase-induced emphysema in the lungs which can be quantitated histologically utilizing image analysis. In this assay, 20i significantly inhibited pulmonary lesions associated with septal destruction and increased alveolar spaces, when dosed at 20 micrograms it. 5 min prior to challenge with HLE.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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