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Arginine Mimetic Structures in Biologically Active Antagonists and Inhibitors

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Peptidomimetics have found wide application as bioavailable, biostable, and potent mimetics of naturally occurring biologically active peptides. L-Arginine is a guanidino group-containing basic amino acid, which is positively charged at neutral pH and is involved in many important physiological and pathophysiological processes. Many enzymes display a preference for the arginine residue that is found in many natural substrates and in synthetic inhibitors of many trypsin-like serine proteases, e.g. thrombin, factor Xa, factor VIIa, trypsin, and in integrin receptor antagonists, used to treat many blood-coagulation disorders. Nitric oxide (NO), which is produced by oxidation of L-arginine in an NADPH- and O2-dependent process catalyzed by isoforms of nitric oxide synthase (NOS), exhibits diverse roles in both normal and pathological physiologies and has been postulated to be a contributor to the etiology of various diseases. Development of NOS inhibitors as well as analogs and mimetics of the natural substrate L-arginine, is desirable for potential therapeutic use and for a better understanding of their conformation when bound in the arginine binding site.

The guanidino residue of arginine in many substrates, inhibitors, and antagonists forms strong ionic interactions with the carboxylate of an aspartic acid moiety, which provides specificity for the basic amino acid residue in the active side. However, a highly basic guanidino moiety incorporated in enzyme inhibitors or receptor antagonists is often associated with low selectivity and poor bioavailability after peroral application. Thus, significant effort is focused on the design and preparation of arginine mimetics that can confer selective inhibition for specific trypsin-like serine proteases and NOS inhibitors as well as integrin receptor antagonists and possess reduced basicity for enhanced oral bioavailability.

This review will describe the survey of arginine mimetics designed to mimic the function of the arginine moiety in numerous peptidomimetic compounds (thrombin inhibitors, factor Xa inhibitors, factor VIIa inhibitors, integrin receptor antagonists, nitric oxide synthase inhibitors), with the aim of obtaining better activity, selectivity and oral bioavailability.
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Keywords: Arginine; Arginine analogs; Arginine mimetics; Factor Xa inhibitors; Fibrinogen and vitronectin receptor antagonists; Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) inhibitors; Prodrug; Serine protease inhibitors; TF/FVIIa inhibitors; Thrombin inhibitors

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Pharmacy,University of Ljubljana, Askerceva 7, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Publication date: 2006-12-01

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