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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Cyclic ketone inhibitors of the cysteine protease cathepsin K.

Cathepsin K (EC, a cysteine protease of the papain superfamily, is predominantly expressed in osteoclasts and has been postulated as a target for the treatment of osteoporosis. Crystallographic and structure--activity studies on a series of acyclic ketone-based inhibitors of cathepsin K have led to the design and identification of two series of cyclic ketone inhibitors. The mode of binding for four of these cyclic and acyclic inhibitors to cathepsin K is discussed and compared. All of the structures are consistent with addition of the active site thiol to the ketone of the inhibitors with the formation of a hemithioketal. Cocrystallization of the C-3 diastereomeric 3-amidotetrahydrofuran-4-one analogue 16 with cathepsin K showed the inhibitor to occupy the unprimed side of the active site with the 3S diastereomer preferred. This C-3 stereochemical preference is in contrast to the X-ray cocrystal structures of the 3-amidopyrrolidin-4-one inhibitors 29 and 33 which show these inhibitors to prefer binding of the 3R diastereomer. The 3-amidopyrrolidin-4-one inhibitors were bound in the active site of the enzyme in two alternate directions. Epimerization issues associated with the labile alpha-amino ketone diastereomeric center contained within these inhibitor classes has proven to limit their utility despite promising pharmacokinetics displayed in both series of compounds.[1]


  1. Cyclic ketone inhibitors of the cysteine protease cathepsin K. Marquis, R.W., Ru, Y., Zeng, J., Trout, R.E., LoCastro, S.M., Gribble, A.D., Witherington, J., Fenwick, A.E., Garnier, B., Tomaszek, T., Tew, D., Hemling, M.E., Quinn, C.J., Smith, W.W., Zhao, B., McQueney, M.S., Janson, C.A., D'Alessio, K., Veber, D.F. J. Med. Chem. (2001) [Pubmed]
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