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E‐64c‐Hydrazide Based Cathepsin C Inhibitors: Optimizing the Interactions with the S1’‐S2’ Area

Von Wiley-VCH zur Verfügung gestellt

With an optimized S1’-S2’ ligand, the E-64c-hydrazide derived compound efficiently inhibits the cysteine protease cathepsin C and thus suppresses the proteolytic activation of neutrophil elastase in the neutrophil precursor cell line U937.


The zymogens of the neutrophil serine proteases elastase, proteinase 3, and cathepsin G are converted proteolytically into their pro-inflammatory active forms by the action of cathepsin C. The inhibition of this cysteine protease therefore is an interesting therapeutic approach for the treatment of inflammatory disorders with a high neutrophil burden such as COPD. Based on E-64c-hydrazide as lead structure, we have recently developed a covalently acting cathepsin C inhibitor using a n-butyl residue attached at the amine nitrogen of the hydrazide moiety to efficiently address the deep hydrophobic S2 pocket. To further optimize the affinity and selectivity profile of this inhibitor, the S1’-S2’ area was now investigated by a combinatorial approach, showing that Nle-tryptamide is a ligand superior to the initially used Leu-isoamylamide. Using the neutrophil precursor line U937 as a cell culture model, this optimized inhibitor blocks the intracellular cathepsin C activity and thereby suppresses the activation of neutrophil elastase.

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