CA074 methyl ester: a proinhibitor for intracellular cathepsin B

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1992 Dec;299(2):377-80. doi: 10.1016/0003-9861(92)90290-d.


The specificity of compound CA074 [N-(L-3-trans-propylcarbamoyloxirane-2-carbonyl)-L-isoleucyl-L-pro line] for the inactivation of cathepsin B was quantified in in vitro measurements with cysteine endopeptidases from cattle, it being found that the compound is a very rapid inactivator of cathepsin B (rate constant 112,000 M-1.s-1), with barely detectable action on cathepsins H, L, and S or m-calpain. Conversion of the proline carboxyl group of the inhibitor to the methyl ester virtually abolished the effect on cathepsin B, and a possible explanation for the importance of the carboxyl is presented on the basis of the tertiary structure of cathepsin B. It was found that CA074 methyl ester (1 microM, 3 h) caused selective inactivation of the intracellular cathepsin B of human gingival fibroblasts in culture, in contrast to other available agents, and we suggest that CA074 methyl ester will be of value in the elucidation of the biological functions of cathepsin B.

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Cathepsin B / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dipeptides / chemistry
  • Dipeptides / pharmacology*
  • Esters
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Prodrugs


  • Dipeptides
  • Esters
  • Prodrugs
  • N-(3-propylcarbamoyloxirane-2-carbonyl)-isoleucyl-proline
  • Cathepsin B