These studies are an attempt to gain better insight into the pharmacophore requirements of urease. On the basis of published information on this enzyme (EXAFS, amino acid sequence, essential groups at the active site) a hypothetical nickel-tripeptide complex, as preliminary substitute for the urease active site was modeled using computer-aided molecular modeling techniques. The results suggest two alternative docking modes of urea and reaction intermediates, corresponding to two different reaction mechanisms. Both binding modes are compatible with the docking of known potent inhibitors such as selected hydroxamic acids and phosphorodiamides. The results can be used to help in the design of new potential inhibitors of urease.
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