Inhibitors of the Hydrolytic Enzyme Dimethylarginine Dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH): Discovery, Synthesis and Development.
Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) is an endogenous regulator of nitric oxide production and represents a potential therapeutic target. However, only a small number of biologically useful inhibitors have been reported, and many of these are substrate analogs. To seek more diverse scaffolds, we developed a high-throughput screening (HTS) assay and queried two small libraries totaling 2446 compounds. The HTS assay proved to be robust, reproducible and scalable, with Z' factors ≥ 0.78. One inhibitor, ebselen, is structurally divergent from substrate and was characterized in detail. This selenazole covalently inactivates DDAH in vitro and in cultured cells. The rate constant for inactivation of DDAH (44,000 ± 2,400 M(-1)s(-1)) is greater than those reported for any other target, suggesting this pathway is an important aspect of ebselen's total pharmacological effects.