A Structure−Activity Relationship Study of Novel Hydroxamic Acid Inhibitors around the S1 Subsite of Human Aminopeptidase N

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Aminopeptidase N (APN/CD13) is a zinc-dependent ubiquitous transmembrane ectoenzyme that is widely present in different types of cells. APN is one of the most extensively studied metalloaminopeptidases as an anti-cancer target due to its significant role in the regulation of metastasis and angiogenesis. Previously, we identified a potent and selective APN inhibitor, N-(2-(Hydroxyamino)-2-oxo-1-(3′,4′,5′-trifluoro-[1,1′-biphenyl]-4-yl)ethyl)-4-(methylsulfonamido)benzamide (3). Herein, we report the further modifications performed to explore SAR around the S1 subsite of APN and to improve the physicochemical properties. A series of hydroxamic acid analogues were synthesised, and the pharmacological activities were evaluated in vitro. N-(1-(3′-Fluoro-[1,1′-biphenyl]-4-yl)-2-(hydroxyamino)-2-oxoethyl)-4-(methylsulfonamido)benzamide (6 f) was found to display an extremely potent inhibitory activity in the sub-nanomolar range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-249
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2021


  • Aminopeptidase N
  • cancer
  • hydroxamic acids
  • metallopeptidases
  • zinc binding group

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