The tissue kallikrein inhibitors reported in the present work were derived by selectively replacing residues in Nα-substituted arginine- or phenylalanine-pNA (where pNA is p-nitroanilide), and in peptide substrates for these enzymes. Phenylacetyl-Arg-pNA was found to be an efficient inhibitor of human tissue kallikrein (Ki 0.4 μM) and was neither a substrate nor an inhibitor of plasma kallikrein. The peptide inhibitors having phenylalanine as the P1 residue behaved as specific inhibitors for kallidin-releasing tissue kallikreins, while plasma kallikrein showed high affinity for inhibitors containing (p-nitro)phenylalanine at the same position. The Ki value of the most potent inhibitor developed, Abz-Phe-Arg-Arg-Pro-Arg-EDDnp [where Abz is o-aminobenzoyl and EDDnp is N-(2,4-dinitrophenyl)-ethylenediamine], was 0.08 μM for human tissue kallikrein. Progress curve analyses of the inhibition of human tissue kallikrein by benzoyl-Arg-pNA and phenylacetyl-Phe-Ser-Arg-EDDnp indicated a single-step mechanism for reversible formation of the enzyme-inhibitor complex.

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