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Biochemistry. 2007 Apr 10;46(14):4408-16. Epub 2007 Mar 17.

trans-2-Phenylcyclopropylamine is a mechanism-based inactivator of the histone demethylase LSD1.

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Department of Chemistry, B120 Levine Science Research Center, Box 90317, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708, USA.


The catalytic domain of the flavin-dependent human histone demethylase lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) belongs to the family of amine oxidases including polyamine oxidase and monoamine oxidase (MAO). We previously assessed monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) for their ability to inhibit the reaction catalyzed by LSD1 [Lee, M. G., et al. (2006) Chem. Biol. 13, 563-567], demonstrating that trans-2-phenylcyclopropylamine (2-PCPA, tranylcypromine, Parnate) was the most potent with respect to LSD1. Here we show that 2-PCPA is a time-dependent, mechanism-based irreversible inhibitor of LSD1 with a KI of 242 microM and a kinact of 0.0106 s-1. 2-PCPA shows limited selectivity for human MAOs versus LSD1, with kinact/KI values only 16-fold and 2.4-fold higher for MAO B and MAO A, respectively. Profiles of LSD1 activity and inactivation by 2-PCPA as a function of pH are consistent with a mechanism of inactivation dependent upon enzyme catalysis. Mass spectrometry supports a role for FAD as the site of covalent modification by 2-PCPA. These results will provide a foundation for the design of cyclopropylamine-based inhibitors that are selective for LSD1 to probe its role in vivo.

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