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Acta biologica et medica Germanica

The relationships between enzyme inhibitors and function of mammalian cells.


PMID 7044007

Abstract

We have been searching for enzyme inhibitors in culture filtrates of microbes and have found leupeptin, antipain, chymostatin, elastatinal, pepstatin, hydroxypepstatin, pepstanone and phosphoramidon as specific inhibitors of serine, thiol, carboxyl and metallo proteases. We found significant activities of aminopeptidases, phosphatase and esterase on surface membranes of various mammalian cells. We discovered bestatin, amastatin, forphenicine, esterastin and ebelactones A and B as specific inhibitors against these enzymes. These inhibitors were proved to bind to cells and modify immune responses. The usefulness of bestatin in cancer treatment has been suggested by clinical studies. It has been shown by several investigators that some endopeptidases such as Ca2+-activated neutral proteases and some other serine proteases may play important roles in muscular dystrophy. In addition to these endopeptidases, we found an abnormal increase in various enzyme activities in dystrophic mice and chickens. Especially, aminopeptidase activities are markedly increased. Moreover, its inhibitor bestatin became interesting on the aspects of its binding to cell surfaces. Bestatin and leupeptin which inhibit Ca2+-dependent protease showed some therapeutic effects against mouse dystrophy. Investigating enzyme activities in synovial fluid of patients with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis, we found increased activities of aminopeptidases, chymotrypsin-like enzyme, and phosphatase in rheumatoid arthritis but not in osteoarthritis. In chronic hemodialysis patients, RNase activity in serum is markedly elevated. Thus, enzyme inhibitors are increasing their potential usefulness in treatment of various diseases.

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