Allosteric inhibitors of inducible nitric oxide synthase dimerization discovered via combinatorial chemistry

  • McMillan K
  • Adler M
  • Auld D
 et al. 
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Potent and selective inhibitors of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) (EC ) were identified in an encoded combinatorial chemical library that blocked human iNOS dimerization, and thereby NO production. In a cell-based iNOS assay (A-172 astrocytoma cells) the inhibitors had low-nanomolar IC(50) values and thus were >1,000-fold more potent than the substrate-based direct iNOS inhibitors 1400W and N-methyl-l-arginine. Biochemical studies confirmed that inhibitors caused accumulation of iNOS monomers in mouse macrophage RAW 264.7 cells. High affinity (K(d) approximately 3 nM) of inhibitors for isolated iNOS monomers was confirmed by using a radioligand binding assay. Inhibitors were >1,000-fold selective for iNOS versus endothelial NOS dimerization in a cell-based assay. The crystal structure of inhibitor bound to the monomeric iNOS oxygenase domain revealed inhibitor-heme coordination and substantial perturbation of the substrate binding site and the dimerization interface, indicating that this small molecule acts by allosterically disrupting protein-protein interactions at the dimer interface. These results provide a mechanism-based approach to highly selective iNOS inhibition. Inhibitors were active in vivo, with ED(50) values of

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  • K. McMillan

  • M. Adler

  • D. S. Auld

  • J. J. Baldwin

  • E. Blasko

  • L. J. Browne

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