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Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry

Sesquiterpene lactones as inhibitors of human neutrophil elastase.


PMID 12110305

Abstract

Human neutrophil elastase (HNE) is a serine protease that has been implicated in the abnormal turnover of connective tissue proteins and has been described as an important pathogenic factor in several inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis or cystic fibrosis. Here we investigated 17 sesquiterpene lactones (SLs) for their ability to inhibit human neutrophil elastase in an in vitro assay. Podachaenin was the most active compound with an IC(50) value of 7 microM. SLs do not covalently bind to the amino acids of the catalytic triad, thus differing from other elastase inhibitors with a lactone moiety. In contrast to most other biological activities of SLs HNE inhibition is not mediated by alpha,beta-unsaturated carbonyl functions. Ligand binding calculations using the X-ray structure of HNE and the program FlexX revealed structural elements which are a prerequisite for their inhibitory activity.

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