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Bioorg Med Chem. 2008 Oct 1;16(19):8922-31. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2008.08.065. Epub 2008 Aug 29.

Distinctive molecular inhibition mechanisms for selective inhibitors of human 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1.

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Department of Metabolic Disorders, Amgen Inc., 1120 Veterans Boulevard, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.


11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11beta-HSD1) catalyzes the NADPH dependent interconversion of inactive cortisone to active cortisol. Excess 11beta-HSD1 or cortisol leads to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome in animal models and in humans. Inhibiting 11beta-HSD1 activity signifies a promising therapeutic strategy in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes and related diseases. Herein, we report two highly potent and selective small molecule inhibitors of human 11beta-HSD1. While compound 1, a sulfonamide, functions as a simple substrate competitive inhibitor, compound 2, a triazole, shows the kinetic profile of a mixed inhibitor. Co-crystal structures reveal that both compounds occupy the 11beta-HSD1 catalytic site, but present distinct molecular interactions with the protein. Strikingly, compound 2 interacts much closer to the cofactor NADP+ and likely modifies its binding. Together, the structural and kinetic analyses demonstrate two distinctive molecular inhibition mechanisms, providing valuable information for future inhibitor design.

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