Human ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme) (EC is an important drug target because of its role in the regulation of blood pressure via the renin–angiotensin–aldosterone system. Somatic ACE comprises two homologous domains, the differing substrate preferences of which present a new avenue for domain-selective inhibitor design. We have co-crystallized lisW-S, a C-domain-selective derivative of the drug lisinopril, with human testis ACE and determined a structure using X-ray crystallography to a resolution of 2.30 Å (1 Å=0.1 nm). In this structure, lisW-S is seen to have a similar binding mode to its parent compound lisinopril, but the P2′ tryptophan moiety takes a different conformation to that seen in other inhibitors having a tryptophan residue in this position. We have examined further the domain-specific interactions of this inhibitor by mutating C-domain-specific active-site residues to their N domain equivalents, then assessing the effect of the mutation on inhibition by lisW-S using a fluorescence-based assay. Kinetics analysis shows a 258-fold domain-selectivity that is largely due to the co-operative effect of C-domain-specific residues in the S2′ subsite. The high affinity and selectivity of this inhibitor make it a good lead candidate for cardiovascular drug development.

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