Molecular Aggregation Strategy for Inhibiting DNases

Kenta Morita, Tomoko Moriwaki, Shunsuke Habe, Mariko Taniguchi-Ikeda, Tadao Hasegawa, Yusuke Minato, Takashi Aoi, Tatsuo Maruyama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study highlights the novel potential of molecular aggregates as inhibitors of a disease-related protein. Enzyme inhibitors have been studied and developed as molecularly targeted drugs and have been applied for cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infections. In many cases, enzyme inhibitors that are used for therapeutic applications interact directly with enzymes in a molecule-to-molecule manner. We found that the aggregates of a small compound, Mn007, inhibited bovine pancreatic DNase I. Once Mn007 molecules formed aggregates, they exhibited inhibitory effects specific to DNases that require divalent metal ions. A DNase secreted by Streptococcus pyogenes causes streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS). STSS is a severe infectious disease with a fatality rate exceeding 30% in patients, even in this century. S. pyogenes disrupts the human barrier system against microbial infections through the secreted DNase. Until now, the discovery/development of a DNase inhibitor has been challenging. Mn007 aggregates were found to inhibit the DNase secreted by S. pyogenes, which led to the successful suppression of S. pyogenes growth in human whole blood. To date, molecular aggregation has been outside the scope of drug discovery. The present study suggests that molecular aggregation is a vast area to be explored for drug discovery and development because aggregates of small-molecule compounds can inhibit disease-related enzymes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2262-2266
Number of pages5
JournalJACS Au
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 24-06-2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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