A unique geometry of the active site of angiotensin-converting enzyme consistent with structure-activity studies

  • Dorica Mayer
  • Christopher B. Naylor
  • Ioan Motoc
  • Garland R. Marshall
Research Papers


Previous structure-activity studies of captopril and related active angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors have led to the conclusion that the basic structural requirements for inhibition of ACE involve (a) a terminal carboxyl group; (b) an amido carbonyl group; and (c) different types of effective zinc (Zn) ligand functional groups. Such structural requirements common to a set of compounds acting at the same receptor have been used to define a pharmacophoric pattern of atoms or groups of atoms mutually oriented in space that is necessary for ACE inhibition from a stereochemical point of view. A unique pharmacophore model (within the resolution of approximately 0.15 Å) was observed using a method for systematic search of the conformational hyperspace available to the 28 structurally different molecules under study. The method does not assume a common molecular framework, and, therefore, allows comparison of different compounds that is independent of their absolute orientation.

Consequently, by placing the carboxyl binding group, the binding site for amido carbonyl, and the Zn atom site in positions determined by ideal binding geometry with the inhibitors' functional groups, it was possible to clearly specify a geometry for the active site of ACE.

Key words

Pharmacophore Metallopeptidase Captopril Molecular mechanics Systematic search 


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Copyright information

© ESCOM Science Publishers B.V. 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorica Mayer
    • 1
  • Christopher B. Naylor
    • 1
  • Ioan Motoc
    • 2
  • Garland R. Marshall
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceWashington UniversitySt. LouisU.S.A.

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