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

Selective inhibition of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase by amphiphilic triterpenoids and related compounds.

A set of plant- and animal-derived amphiphilic triterpenoids have been shown to be potent and selective inhibitors of the catalytic subunit of rat liver cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (cAK). Thus plant-derived 18 alpha- and 18 beta-glycyrrhetinic acid, ursolic acid, oleanolic acid and betulin and animal-derived lithocholic acid, 5-cholenic acid and lithocholic acid methyl ester are inhibitors of cAK with IC50 values (concentrations for 50% inhibition) in the range 4-20 microM. These compounds are ineffective or relatively ineffective as inhibitors of various other eukaryote signal-regulated protein kinases namely wheat embryo Ca(2+)-dependent protein kinase (CDPK), avian calmodulin-dependent myosin light chain kinase (MLCK) and rat brain Ca(2+)- and phospholipid-dependent protein kinase C ( PKC). These naturally occurring triterpenoids have a common structural motif involving polar residues located at opposite ends of an otherwise non-polar triterpenoid nucleus. A variety of triterpenoids not possessing this structural motif are relatively inactive as inhibitors of cAK and of CDPK, PKC and MLCK. The terpenoid amphiphilic compound crocetin is also a potent and relatively selective inhibitor of cAK (IC50 value for cAK 3.0 microM). 12-Hydroxystearic acid and 10-hydroxydecanoic acid do not inhibit CDPK, PKC or MLCK but are selective inhibitors of cAK (IC50 values 127 and 138 microM, respectively), consistent with a simple model for amphiphile inhibition of cAK involving two polar groups separated by a non-polar region. However, laurylgallate and 15-pentadecanolide are also potent and selective inhibitors of cAK (IC50 values 1.5 and 20 microM, respectively) although the structures of both of these compounds involve a large non-polar portion associated with only one polar region. Crocetin and the plant-derived amphiphilic triterpenoids described here are the most potent non-aromatic plant-derived inhibitors of cAK yet found.[1]


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