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Journal of medicinal chemistry

Identification of phosphinate dipeptide analog inhibitors directed against the Plasmodium falciparum M17 leucine aminopeptidase as lead antimalarial compounds.


PMID 17960925

Abstract

Previous studies have pinpointed the M17 leucyl aminopeptidase of Plasmodium falciparum (PfLAP) as a target for the development of new antimalarials. This metallo-exopeptidase functions in the terminal stages of hemoglobin digestion and is inhibited by bestatin, a natural analog of Phe-Leu. By screening novel phosphinate dipeptide analogues for inhibitory activity against recombinant PfLAP, we have discovered two compounds, 4 (hPheP[CH2]Phe) and 5 (hPheP[CH2]Tyr), with inhibitory constants better than bestatin. These compounds are fast, tight-binding inhibitors that make improved contacts within the active site of PfLAP. Both compounds inhibit the growth of P. falciparum in vitro, exhibiting IC50 values against the chloroquine-resistant clone Dd2 of 20-40 and 12-23 muM, respectively. While bestatin exhibited some in vivo activity against Plasmodium chabaudi chabaudi, compound 4 reduced parasite burden by 92%. These studies establish the PfLAP as a prime target for the development of antimalarial drugs and provide important new lead compounds.

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B8385
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C16H24N2O4 · HCl