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Using bradykinin-potentiating peptide structures to develop new antihypertensive drugs.

Center of Applied Toxinology, Instituto Butantan, São Paulo, SP, Brazil
Genetics and molecular research: GMR (Impact Factor: 0.85). 02/2004; 3(4):554-63.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) is a dipeptidyl-carboxypeptidase expressed in endothelial, epithelial and neuroepithelial cells. It is composed of two domains, known as N- and C-domains, and it is primarily involved in blood pressure regulation. Although the physiological functions of ACE are not limited to its cardiovascular role, it has been an attractive target for drug design due to its critical role in cardiovascular and renal disease. We examined natural structures based on bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPPs) extracted from Bothrops jararaca venom for ACE inhibition. Modeling, docking and molecular dynamics were used to study the conserved residues in the S2', S1' and S1 positions that allow enzyme-substrate/inhibitor contacts. These positions are conserved in other oligopeptidases, and they form tight and non-specific contacts with lisinopril, enalapril and BPP9a inhibitors. The only specific inhibitor for human somatic ACE (sACE) was BPP9a, which is instable in the N-sACE-BPP9a complex due to repulsive electrostatic interactions between Arg P4-Arg 412 residues. Specificity for the C-terminal domain in human sACE inhibition was confirmed by electrostatic interaction with the Asp 1008 residue. Peptide-like BPP structures, naturally developed by snakes across millions of years of evolution, appear to be good candidates for the development of domain-selective ACE inhibitors with high stability and improved pharmacological profiles.

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    ABSTRACT: Venom glands of some snakes synthesize bradykinin-potentiating peptides (BPP's) which increase bradykinin-induced hypotensive effect and decrease angiotensin I vasopressor effect by angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibition. The present study shows a new BPP (BPP-Cdc) isolated from Crotalus durissus cascavella venom: Pro-Asn-Leu-Pro-Asn-Tyr-Leu-Gly-Ile-Pro-Pro. Although BPP-Cdc presents the classical sequence IPP in the C-terminus, it has a completely atypical N-terminal sequence, which shows very low homology with all other BPPs isolated to date. The pharmacological effects of BPP-Cdc were compared to BBP9a from Bothrops Jararaca and captopril. BPP-Cdc (1μM) significantly increased BK-induced contractions (BK; 1μM) on the guinea pig ileum by 267.8% and decreased angiotensin I-induced contractions (AngI; 10nM) by 62.4% and these effects were not significantly different from those of BPP9a (1μM) or captopril (200nM). Experiments with 4-week hypertensive 2K-1C rats show that the vasopressor effect of AngI (10ng) was decreased by 50μg BPP-Cdc (69.7%), and this result was similar to that obtained with 50μg BPP9a (69.8%). However, the action duration of BPP-Cdc (60 min) was 2 times greater than that of BPP-9a (30 min). On the other hand, the hypotensive effect of BK (250ng) was significantly increased by 176.6% after BPP-Cdc (50μg) administration, value 2.5 times greater than that obtained with BPP9a administered at the same doses (71.4%). In addition, the duration of the action of BPP-Cdc (120 min) was also at least 4 times greater than that of BPP-9a (30 min). Taken together, these results suggest that BPP-Cdc presents more selective action on arterial blood system than BPP9a. Besides the inhibition of ACE, it may present other mechanisms of action yet to be elucidated.
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