Send to

Choose Destination
J Biol Chem. 2009 Jun 5;284(23):15729-38. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M901540200. Epub 2009 Mar 30.

Inhibition of furin/proprotein convertase-catalyzed surface and intracellular processing by small molecules.

Author information

Departments of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0606, USA.


Furin is a ubiquitously expressed proprotein convertase (PC) that plays a vital role in numerous disease processes including cancer metastasis, bacterial toxin activation (e.g. anthrax and Pseudomonas), and viral propagation (e.g. avian influenza and human immunodeficiency virus). To identify small molecule inhibitors of furin and related processing enzymes, we performed high-throughput screens of chemical diversity libraries utilizing both enzyme-based and cell-based assays. The screens identified partially overlapping sets of compounds that were further characterized for affinity, mechanism, and efficacy in additional cellular processing assays. Dicoumarols were identified as a class of compounds that inhibited furin non-competitively and reversibly with Ki values in the micromolar range. These compounds inhibited furin/furin-like activity both at the cell surface (protecting against anthrax toxin) and in the secretory pathway (blocking processing of the metastasis factor membrane-type 1 matrix metalloproteinase/MT1-MMP) at concentrations close to Ki values. Compounds tested exhibited distinct patterns of inhibition of other furin-family PCs (rat PACE4, human PC5/6 and human PC7), showing that dicoumarol derivatives might be developed as either generic or selective inhibitors of the PCs. The extensive clinical use, high bioavailability and relatively low toxicity of dicoumarols suggests that the dicoumarol structure will be a good starting point for development of drug-like inhibitors of furin and other PCs that can act both intracellularly and at the cell surface.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center