Highly Sensitive Intramolecularly Quenched Fluorogenic Substrates for Renin Based on the Combination of L-2-amino-3-(7-methoxy-4-coumaryl)propionic Acid With 2,4-dinitrophenyl Groups at Various Positions

Katherine Paschalidou, Ulf Neumann, Bernd Gerhartz, Chryssa Tzougraki

Biochem J. 2004 Sep 15;382(Pt 3):1031-8.

PMID: 15233625


The development of renin inhibitors for the treatment of hypertension requires highly sensitive substrates to evaluate potency and to characterize the mechanism of tight-binding inhibitors. A series of intramolecularly quenched fluorogenic renin substrates, based on the N-terminal tetradecapeptide sequence of human angiotensinogen (hTDP), was synthesized using a solid-phase technique. Incorporation of the fluorescent amino acid L-Amp [L-2-amino-3-(7-methoxy-4-coumaryl)propionic acid] and the DNP (2,4-dinitrophenyl) group at various positions resulted in >90% quenching efficiency and strong product fluorescence. Shortening the hTDP sequence to an octapeptide from histidine in P5 to histidine in P3' (substrate 3) resulted in an acceptable k(cat)/K(m) (41000 M(-1).s(-1)) and further systematic variation gave substrate 9, DNP-Lys-His-Pro-Phe-His-Leu-Val-Ile-His-L-Amp, with a k(cat)/K(m) value of 350000 M(-1).s(-1) and 94% quenching efficiency. The free side chain of lysine, replacing the isoleucine residue at P6 position in the angiotensinogen sequence, contributed to the increased value for k(cat). The pH dependence of k(cat)/K(m) for renin and substrate 9 showed that the optimal pH is at pH 6-7. It also showed two titrating groups on the acidic side of the pH optimum, and one titrating group with a pK(a) of 7.8 on the alkaline side. The combination of good kinetic and spectroscopic properties resulted in a >20-fold improvement in the sensitivity of renin assay, compared with the commercial substrate Arg-Glu(EDANS)-Ile-His-Pro-Phe-His-Leu-Val-Ile-His-Thr-Lys(DABCYL)-Arg [where EDANS is 5-[(2-aminoethyl)amino]naphthalene-1-sulphonic acid and DABCYL is 4-(4-dimethylaminophenylazo)benzoic acid] (k(cat)/K(m)=268000 M(-1) x s(-1), quenching efficiency <80%). The detection limit in a microplate renin assay was 60 pM, making substrate 9 well suited for the evaluation of inhibitors at picomolar concentrations.

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