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The design and properties of N-carboxyalkyldipeptide inhibitors of angiotensin-converting enzyme.


Angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors promise to make important therapeutic contributions to the control of hypertension and congestive heart failure. The nonapeptide teprotide was the first of these inhibitors to be tested clinically. It was followed by orally active inhibitors, captopril in 1977 and enalapril in 1980. The latter is representative of a new design for the inhibition of metallopeptidases and is the subject of this review. The best of the N-carboxyalkyldipeptide inhibitors inhibits angiotensin-converting enzyme with a Ki of 7.6 X 10(-11) M. This compound is the most potent competitive inhibitor of a metallopeptidase yet to have been reported. The basis of this high potency is beginning to be understood and in part is considered to involve precisely arranged multiple interactions within the enzyme active site. X-ray crystallography of a thermolysin-inhibitor complex has been achieved. Assuming that similar interactions within the active site of angiotensin-converting enzyme are mechanistically probable, the authors hypothesize the binding of enalaprilat to converting enzyme as shown in Figure 24. Such interactions are consistent with kinetic studies (Section V) with the understanding that binding to the enzyme is not sensitive to the inhibitor's state of NH protonation. The reason for this surprising conclusion has not been established. Perhaps counterbalancing factors are involved in the energetics of binding or there may be compensating adjustments made in the enzyme which permit NH protonated and nonprotonated inhibitor to bind equally well. Figure 24 also summarizes present understanding of the conformation of enalaprilat when bound to angiotensin-converting enzyme. From studies on conformationally defined analogs of enalaprilat, it seems likely that the Ala-Pro segment of enalaprilat binds in a conformation that is close to a minimum energy conformer. This situation no doubt contributes to the potency of enalaprilat, since little binding energy would be needed to induce conformational changes in this part-structure of enalaprilat when it is bound to the enzyme. The phenethyl group of enalaprilat is believed to be near the alpha-hydrogen of the L-Ala residue in the enzyme-inhibitor complex. However, the synthesis of conformationally restricted analogs to establish this point has not yet been reached. The N-carboxyalkylpeptide design was developed from Wolfenden's collected product inhibitors of carboxypeptidase-A. Whether or not N-carboxyalkyldipeptides should be classified as collected product or transition state inhibitors is unclear.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS).

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