Anchored plasticity opens doors for selective inhibitor design in nitric oxide synthase.

Article Details


Garcin ED, Arvai AS, Rosenfeld RJ, Kroeger MD, Crane BR, Andersson G, Andrews G, Hamley PJ, Mallinder PR, Nicholls DJ, St-Gallay SA, Tinker AC, Gensmantel NP, Mete A, Cheshire DR, Connolly S, Stuehr DJ, Aberg A, Wallace AV, Tainer JA, Getzoff ED

Anchored plasticity opens doors for selective inhibitor design in nitric oxide synthase.

Nat Chem Biol. 2008 Nov;4(11):700-7. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.115. Epub 2008 Oct 12.

PubMed ID
18849972 [ View in PubMed

Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) enzymes synthesize nitric oxide, a signal for vasodilatation and neurotransmission at low concentrations and a defensive cytotoxin at higher concentrations. The high active site conservation among all three NOS isozymes hinders the design of selective NOS inhibitors to treat inflammation, arthritis, stroke, septic shock and cancer. Our crystal structures and mutagenesis results identified an isozyme-specific induced-fit binding mode linking a cascade of conformational changes to a new specificity pocket. Plasticity of an isozyme-specific triad of distant second- and third-shell residues modulates conformational changes of invariant first-shell residues to determine inhibitor selectivity. To design potent and selective NOS inhibitors, we developed the anchored plasticity approach: anchor an inhibitor core in a conserved binding pocket, then extend rigid bulky substituents toward remote specificity pockets, which become accessible upon conformational changes of flexible residues. This approach exemplifies general principles for the design of selective enzyme inhibitors that overcome strong active site conservation.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

NameUniProt ID
Nitric oxide synthase, endothelialP29474Details
Binding Properties
DrugTargetPropertyMeasurementpHTemperature (°C)
(2S)-2-methyl-2,3-dihydrothieno[2,3-f][1,4]oxazepin-5-amineNitric oxide synthase, inducibleIC 50 (nM)4.00E+01737Details
(3R)-3-[(1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinolin-7-yloxy)methyl]-2,3-dihydrothieno[2,3-f][1,4]oxazepin-5-amineNitric oxide synthase, inducibleIC 50 (nM)4.00E+02737Details
1-(6-CYANO-3-PYRIDYLCARBONYL)-5',8'-DIFLUOROSPIRO[PIPERIDINE-4,2'(1'H)-QUINAZOLINE]-4'-AMINENitric oxide synthase, inducibleIC 50 (nM)35737Details
1-[4-(AMINOMETHYL)BENZOYL]-5'-FLUORO-1'H-SPIRO[PIPERIDINE-4,2'-QUINAZOLIN]-4'-AMINENitric oxide synthase, inducibleIC 50 (nM)1.30E+02737Details
4-({4-[(4-methoxypyridin-2-yl)amino]piperidin-1-yl}carbonyl)benzonitrileNitric oxide synthase, inducibleIC 50 (nM)74737Details
ETHYL 4-[(4-METHYLPYRIDIN-2-YL)AMINO]PIPERIDINE-1-CARBOXYLATENitric oxide synthase, inducibleIC 50 (nM)3.50E+02737Details
N-[2-(6-AMINO-4-METHYLPYRIDIN-2-YL)ETHYL]-4-CYANOBENZAMIDENitric oxide synthase, inducibleIC 50 (nM)1.20E+02737Details