Specificity and affinity of natural product cyclopentapeptide inhibitors against A. fumigatus, human, and bacterial chitinases

Francesco V. Rao, Douglas R. Houston, Rolf G. Boot, Johannes M.F.G. Aerts, Michael Hodkinson, David J. Adams, Kazuro Shiomi, Satoshi Omura, Daan M.F. Van Aalten*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Family 18 chitinases play key roles in organisms ranging from bacteria to man. There is a need for specific, potent inhibitors to probe the function of these chitinases in different organisms. Such molecules could also provide leads for the development of chemotherapeuticals with fungicidal, insecticidal, or anti-inflammatory potential. Recently, two natural product peptides, argifin and argadin, have been characterized, which structurally mimic chitinase- chitooligosaccharide interactions and inhibit a bacterial chitinase in the nM-mM range. Here, we show that these inhibitors also act on human and Aspergillus fumigatus chitinases. The structures of these enzymes in complex with argifin and argadin, together with mutagenesis, fluorescence, and enzymology, reveal that subtle changes in the binding site dramatically affect affinity and selectivity. The data show that it may be possible to develop specific chitinase inhibitors based on the argifin/argadin scaffolds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-76
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry and Biology
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005

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