Category: enzyme inhibitors

Inhibitors of kallikrein-related peptidases: An overview.

Med Res Rev. 2018 Mar;38(2):655-683. doi: 10.1002/med.21451.

Masurier N, Arama DP, El Amri C, Lisowski V.


Kallikrein-related peptidases (KLKs) are a family of 15 secreted serine proteases that are involved in various physiological processes. Their activities are subtly regulated by various endogenous inhibitors, ranging from metallic ions to macromolecular entities such as proteins. Furthermore, dysregulation of KLK activity has been linked to several pathologies, including cancer and skin and inflammatory diseases, explaining the numerous efforts to develop KLK-specific pharmacological inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents. In this review, we focus on the huge repertoire of KLKs inhibitors reported to date with a special emphasis on the diversity of their molecular mechanisms of inhibition.

1,2,4-Triazole-3-thione Compounds as Inhibitors of Dizinc Metallo-β-lactamases

ChemMedChem 2017 Jun 21;12(12):972-985. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.201700186. Epub 2017 Jun 12.

Sevaille L, Gavara L, Bebrone C, De Luca F, Nauton L, Achard M, Mercuri P, Tanfoni S, Borgianni L, Guyon C, Lonjon P, Turan-Zitouni G, Dzieciolowski J, Becker K, Bénard L, Condon C, Maillard L, Martinez J, Frère JM, Dideberg O, Galleni M, Docquier JD, Hernandez JF.


Metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) cause resistance of Gram-negative bacteria to β-lactam antibiotics and are of serious concern, because they can inactivate the last-resort carbapenems and because MBL inhibitors of clinical value are still lacking. We previously identified the original binding mode of 4-amino-2,4-dihydro-5-(2-methylphenyl)-3H-1,2,4-triazole-3-thione (compound IIIA) within the dizinc active site of the L1 MBL. Herein we present the crystallographic structure of a complex of L1 with the corresponding non-amino compound IIIB (1,2-dihydro-5-(2-methylphenyl)-3H-1,2,4-triazole-3-thione). Unexpectedly, the binding mode of IIIB was similar but reverse to that of IIIA. The 3 D structures suggested that the triazole-thione scaffold was suitable to bind to the catalytic site of dizinc metalloenzymes. On the basis of these results, we synthesized 54 analogues of IIIA or IIIB. Nineteen showed IC50 values in the micromolar range toward at least one of five representative MBLs (i.e., L1, VIM-4, VIM-2, NDM-1, and IMP-1). Five of these exhibited a significant inhibition of at least four enzymes, including NDM-1, VIM-2, and IMP-1. Active compounds mainly featured either halogen or bulky bicyclic aryl substituents. Finally, some compounds were also tested on several microbial dinuclear zinc-dependent hydrolases belonging to the MBL-fold superfamily (i.e., endonucleases and glyoxalase II) to explore their activity toward structurally similar but functionally distinct enzymes. Whereas the bacterial tRNases were not inhibited, the best IC50 values toward plasmodial glyoxalase II were in the 10 μm range.

Conformationally Constrained Peptidomimetics as Inhibitors of the Protein Arginine Methyl Transferases

Chemistry – A European Journal, 2016, Volume: 22, Issue: 39, Pages: 14022-14028, DOI: 10.1002/chem.201602518

A. Knuhtsen, B. Legrand, O. Van der Poorten, M. Amblard, J. Martinez, S. Ballet, J. L. Kristensen, D. S. Pedersen 


Protein arginine N-Me transferases (PRMTs) belong to a family of enzymes that modulate the epigenetic code through modifications of histones.  In the present study, peptides emerging from a phage display screening were modified in the search for PRMT inhibitors through substitution with non-proteinogenic amino acids, N-alkylation of the peptide backbone, and incorporation of constrained dipeptide mimics.  One of the modified peptides (23) showed an increased inhibitory activity towards several PRMTs in the low μM range and the conformational preference of this peptide was investigated and compared with the original hit using CD and NMR spectroscopy.  Introducing two constrained tryptophan residue mimics (L-Aia) spaced by a single amino acid was found to induce a unique turn structure stabilized by a hydrogen bond and arom. π-stacking interaction between the two L-Aia residues.

Pyrido-imidazodiazepinones as a new class of reversible inhibitors of human kallikrein 7

European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2015, Volume: 93, Pages: 202-213, DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2015.02.008

D. P. Arama, F. Soualmia, V. Lisowski, J.-F. Longevial, E. Bosc, L. T. Maillard, J. Martinez, N. Masurier, C. El Amri


The human tissue kallikrein-7 (KLK7) is a chymotryptic serine protease member of tissue kallikrein family.  KLK7 is involved in skin homeostasis and inflammation.  Excess of KLK7 activity is also assocd. with tumor metastasis processes, esp. in ovarian carcinomas, prostatic and pancreatic cancers.  Development of Kallikrein 7 inhibitors is thus of great interest in oncol. but also for treating skin diseases.  Most of the developed synthetic inhibitors present several drawbacks such as poor selectivity and unsuitable physico-chem. properties for in vivo use.  Recently, the authors described a practical sequence for the synthesis of imidazopyridine-fused [1,3]-diazepines.  Here, the authors report the identification of pyrido-imidazodiazepinone core as a new potential scaffold to develop selective and competitive inhibitors of kallikrein-related peptidase 7.  Structure-activity relationships (SAR), inhibition mechanisms and selectivity as well as cytotoxicity against selected cancer cell lines were investigated.

Imidazopyridine-fused [1,3]-diazepinones: Synthesis and antiproliferative activity

European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 2014, Volume: 75, Pages: 382-390,  DOI: 10.1016/j.ejmech.2014.01.044

A. Gallud, O. Vaillant, L.T. Maillard, D. Arama, J. Dubois, M. Maynadier, V. Lisowski, M. Garcia, J. Martinez, N. Masurier


A series of 15 pyrido-imidazo-1,3-diazepin-5-ones and pyrido-1,3-diazepine-2,5-diones were synthesized and their anticancer activities were evaluated.  Among tested compds. on a cell lines panel, compd. I presents the best growth inhibition activity on 21 cell lines with a cytotoxic effect on MDA-MB-435 melanoma cells.  This compd. led to deep cell morphol. changes and revealed to be an inhibitor of the Hepatocyte progenitor kinase-like kinase (HGK), which is known to be implicated in the migration, adhesion and invasion of various tumor cells.