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J Med Chem. 2005 Jan 27;48(2):483-98.

Endothelin-converting enzyme-1 inhibition and growth of human glioblastoma cells.

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University Institute of Pathology, University of Lausanne, Bugnon 25, CH1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.


Endothelin-1 (ET-1) is mitogenic and/or antiapoptotic in human cancers, and antagonists to ET-1 receptors are under evaluation for cancer treatment. Inhibition of ET-1 activation by the endothelin-converting enzymes 1(a)(-)(d) (ECE-1(a)(-)(d); EC represents another approach to block the ET-1 effect in cancer. To evaluate this potential, we synthesized and characterized a series of low nanomolar nonpeptidic thiol-containing ECE-1 inhibitors, and evaluated their effect, as well as the effect of inhibitors for the related metalloproteases neprilysin (NEP; EC and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE; EC, on human glioblastoma cell growth. Only ECE-1 inhibitors inhibited DNA synthesis by human glioblastoma cells. Exogenous addition of ET-1 or bigET-1 to glioblastoma cells did not counterbalance the growth inhibition elicited by ECE-1 inhibitors, suggesting that ECE-1 inhibitors block the proliferation of human glioblastoma cells most likely via a mechanism not involving extracellular production of ET-1. This class of molecules may thus represent novel therapeutic agents for the potential treatment of human cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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