Journal of medicinal chemistry

Conformationally constrained [p-(omega-aminoalkyl)phenacetyl]-L-seryl-L-lysyl dipeptide amides as potent peptidomimetic inhibitors of Candida albicans and human myristoyl-CoA:protein N-myristoyl transferase.

PMID 9154965


MyristoylCoA:protein N-myristoyltransferase (NMT) covalently attaches the 14-carbon saturated fatty acid myristate, via an amide bond, to the N-terminal glycine residues of a variety of cellular proteins. Genetic studies have shown that NMT is essential for the viability of the principal fungal pathogens which cause systemic infection in immunosuppressed humans and hence is a target for development of fungicidal drugs. We have generated a class of potent peptidomimetic inhibitors of the NMT from one such fungal pathogen, Candida albicans. The N-terminal tetrapeptide from a substrate analog inhibitor, ALYASKL-NH2, was replaced with an omega-aminoalkanoyl moiety having an optimal 11-carbon chain for inhibition (11-aminoundecanoyl-SKL-NH2, 3a, IC50 = 1.2 +/- 0.14 microM). A series of replacements for the C-terminal Leu established that residues containing a lipophilic side chain were most effective, with cyclohexylalanine having the greatest potency (3g, IC50 = 0.36 +/- 0.06 microM). Removal of the carboxamide moiety led to a metabolically stable dipeptide inhibitor containing an N-(cyclohexylethyl)lysinamide (17e, IC50 = 0.11 +/- 0.03 microM). Partial rigidification of the flexible aminoundecanoyl chain produced the dipeptide p-(omega-aminohexyl)phenacetyl-L-seryl-L-lysyl-N-(cyclohexyleth yl)amide (26b, IC50 = 0.11 +/- 0.04 microM). Subsequent incorporation of an alpha-methyl substituent into 26b provided the dipeptide analog [2-[p-(omega-aminohexyl)phenyl]propionyl]-L-seryl-L-lysyl-N-(cyclohex ylethyl)amide, a very potent inhibitor (48, IC50 = 0.043 +/- 0.006 microM), which retained the three essential elements required for recognition by the acyl transferase's peptide binding site.

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Boc-11-Aun-OH, ≥98.0% (TLC)