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Biochemistry. 1998 Feb 10;37(6):1680-5.

Alzheimer's amyloid precursor protein alpha-secretase is inhibited by hydroxamic acid-based zinc metalloprotease inhibitors: similarities to the angiotensin converting enzyme secretase.

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School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, U.K.


The 4 kDa beta-amyloid peptide that forms the amyloid fibrils in the brain parenchyma of Alzheimer's disease patients is derived from the larger integral membrane protein, the amyloid precursor protein. In the nonamyloidogenic pathway, alpha-secretase cleaves the amyloid precursor protein within the beta-amyloid domain, releasing an extracellular portion and thereby preventing deposition of the intact amyloidogenic peptide. The release of the amyloid precursor protein from both SH-SY5Y and IMR-32 neuronal cells by alpha-secretase was blocked by batimastat and other related synthetic hydroxamic acid-based zinc metalloprotease inhibitors, but not by the structurally unrelated zinc metalloprotease inhibitors enalaprilat and phosphoramidon. Batimastat inhibited the release of the amyloid precursor protein from both cell lines with an I50 value of 3 microM. Removal of the thienothiomethyl substituent adjacent to the hydroxamic acid moiety or the substitution of the P2' substituent decreased the inhibitory potency of batimastat toward alpha-secretase. In the SH-SY5Y cells, both the basal and the carbachol-stimulated release of the amyloid precursor protein were blocked by batimastat. In contrast, neither the level of full-length amyloid precursor protein nor its cleavage by beta-secretase were inhibited by any of the zinc metalloprotease inhibitors examined. In transfected IMR-32 cells, the release of both the amyloid precursor protein and angiotensin converting enzyme was inhibited by batimastat, marimastat, and BB2116 with I50 values in the low micromolar range, while batimastat and BB2116 inhibited the release of both proteins from HUVECs. The profile of inhibition of alpha-secretase by batimastat and structurally related compounds is identical with that observed with the angiotensin converting enzyme secretase suggesting that the two are closely related zinc metalloproteases.

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