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Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2005 Dec;4(12):1015-26.

NAAG peptidase inhibitors and their potential for diagnosis and therapy.

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Acenta Discovery, Inc., 9030 South Rita Road, Suite 300, Tucson, Arizona 85747, USA.


Modulation of N-acetyl-L-aspartyl-L-glutamate peptidase activity with small-molecule inhibitors holds promise for a wide variety of diseases that involve glutamatergic transmission, and has implications for the diagnosis and therapy of cancer. This new class of compounds, of which at least one has entered clinical trials and proven to be well tolerated, has demonstrated efficacy in experimental models of pain, schizophrenia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, traumatic brain injury and, when appropriately functionalized, can image prostate cancer. Further investigation of these promising drug candidates will be needed to bring them to the marketplace. The recent publication of the X-ray crystal structure for the enzymatic target of these compounds should facilitate the development of other new agents with enhanced activity that could improve both the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders.

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