Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Phosphoramidon blocks the pressor activity of porcine big endothelin-1-(1-39) in vivo and conversion of big endothelin-1-(1-39) to endothelin-1-(1-21) in vitro.

PMID 1992461


In porcine aortic endothelial cells, the 21-amino acid peptide endothelin-1 (ET-1) is formed from a 39-amino acid intermediate called "big endothelin-1" (big ET-1) by a putative ET-converting enzyme (ECE) that cleaves the 39-mer at the bond between Trp-21 and Val-22. Since big ET-1 has only 1/100-1/150th the contractile activity of ET-1, inhibition of ECE should effectively block the biological effects of ET-1. Big ET-1 injected intravenously into anesthetized rats produces a sustained pressor response that presumably is due to conversion of big ET-1 into ET-1 by ECE. We determined the type of protease activity responsible for this conversion by evaluating the effectiveness of protease inhibitors in blocking the pressor response to big ET-1 in ganglion-blocked anesthetized rats. The serine protease inhibitor leupeptin, the cysteinyl protease inhibitor E-64, and the metalloprotease inhibitors captopril and kelatorphan were all ineffective at blocking the pressor response to big ET-1. However, the metalloprotease inhibitors phosphoramidon and thiorphan dose-dependently inhibited the pressor response to big ET-1, although phosphoramidon was substantially more potent than thiorphan. None of the inhibitors blocked the pressor response to ET-1 and none had any effect on mean arterial pressure when administered alone. In a rabbit lung membrane preparation, ECE activity was identified that was blocked by the metalloprotease inhibitors phosphoramidon and 1,10-phenanthroline in a concentration-dependent manner. This enzyme converted big ET-1 to a species of ET that comigrated on HPLC with ET-1 and produced an ET-like contraction in isolated rat aortic rings. Our results suggest that the physiologically relevant ECE is a metalloprotease.

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E7265 Big Endothelin 39 rat, ≥97% (HPLC)