Myeloperoxidase is the most abundant protein in neutrophils and catalyses the conversion of H2O2 and chloride into HOCl. To help clarify the role of this enzyme in bacterial killing and inflammation, a specific and potent inhibitor needs to be identified. We have studied a series of benzoic acid hydrazides and found that in general they inhibit the peroxidation activity of myeloperoxidase with an IC50 value of less than 10 microM. The IC50 values of derivatives with substituents containing oxygen or nitrogen were related to their Hammett substituent constants. This indicates that myeloperoxidase oxidizes the hydrazide group of these compounds, and the degree to which they inhibit the enzyme is dependent on the ease of their oxidation. Unsubstituted benzoic acid hydrazide and its 4-chloro derivative were poor inhibitors of peroxidation. Thus it is likely that hydrogen-bonding of the enzyme to substituents containing oxygen or nitrogen increases the binding affinity of the hydrazides and enhances their oxidation by myeloperoxidase. 4-Aminobenzoic acid hydrazide (ABAH) was the most potent inhibitor of peroxidation. It irreversibly inhibited HOCl production by the purified enzyme, having an IC50 value of 0.3 microM. With neutrophils stimulated with opsonized zymosan or phorbol myristate acetate, ABAH inhibited HOCl production by up to 90% and the IC50 values were 16 microM and 2.2 microM respectively. In the presence of superoxide dismutase, these values decreased to 6.4 microM and 0.6 microM respectively. ABAH had no effect on superoxide radical (O2-.) production and degranulation by neutrophils, nor did it inhibit catalase or glutathione peroxidase. Thus ABAH is an effective and selective inhibitor that should be useful for determining the contribution of myeloperoxidase to oxidant-mediated reactions of neutrophils.

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