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J Mol Biol. 2006 Oct 6;362(5):979-93. Epub 2006 Aug 1.

Quantitative evaluation of each catalytic subsite of cathepsin B for inhibitory activity based on inhibitory activity-binding mode relationship of epoxysuccinyl inhibitors by X-ray crystal structure analyses of complexes.

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Department of Physical Chemistry, Osaka University of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 4-20-1 Nasahara,Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1094, Japan.


To quantitatively estimate the inhibitory effect of each substrate-binding subsite of cathepsin B (CB), a series of epoxysuccinyl derivatives with different functional groups bound to both carbon atoms of the epoxy ring were synthesized, and the relationship between their inhibitory activities and binding modes at CB subsites was evaluated by the X-ray crystal structure analyses of eight complexes. With the common reaction in which the epoxy ring of inhibitor was opened to form a covalent bond with the SgammaH group of the active center Cys29, the observed binding modes of the substituents of inhibitors at the binding subsites of CB enabled the quantitative assessment of the inhibitory effect of each subsite. Although the single blockage of S1' or S2' subsite exerts only the inhibitory effect of IC50 = approximately 24 microM (k2 = approximately 1250 M(-1) s(-1)) or approximately 15 microM (k2 = approximately 1800 M(-1) s(-1)), respectively, the synchronous block of both subsites leads to IC50 = approximately 23 nM (k2 = 153,000 - 185,000 M(-1) s(-1)), under the condition that (i) the inhibitor possesses a P1' hydrophobic residue such as Ile and a P2' hydrophobic residue such as Ala, Ile or Pro, and (ii) the C-terminal carboxyl group of a P2' residue is able to form paired hydrogen bonds with the imidazole NH of His110 and the imidazole N of His111 of CB. The inhibitor of a Pn' > or = 3' substituent was not potentiated by collision with the occluding loop. On the other hand, it was suggested that the inhibitory effects of Sn subsites are independent of those of Sn' subsites, and the simultaneous blockage of the funnel-like arrangement of S2 and S3 subsites leads to the inhibition of IC50 = approximately 40 nM (k2 = approximately 66,600 M(-1) s(-1)) regardless of the lack of Pn' substituents. Here we present a systematic X-ray structure-based evaluation of structure-inhibitory activity relationship of each binding subsite of CB, and the results provide the structural basis for designing a more potent CB-specific inhibitor.

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