Two peptide derivatives of arginylfluoromethane (Arg-CH2F), namely Bz(benzoyl)-Phe-ArgCH2F and D-Phe-Pro-Arg-CH2F, have been synthesized by extension of available methods, i.e. the Dakin-West reaction [Rasnick (1985) Anal. Biochem. 149, 461-465] or synthesis of a phthaloyl-blocked C-terminal fluoromethane [Rauber, Angliker, Walker & Shaw (1986) Biochem. J. 239, 633-640; Angliker, Wikström, Rauber & Shaw (1987) Biochem. J. 241, 871-875] with subsequent elongation. The guanidino group of arginine was protected as the bis-Cbz (benzyloxycarbonyl) derivative. The products were examined as active-site-directed inhibitors of some trypsin-related serine proteinases as well as a pair of cysteine proteinases. The results extend previous observations that the rate of alkylation of serine proteinases by fluoromethanes may be considerably slower than by chloromethanes. As expected, the amino acid sequence of the inhibitors influenced their relative effectiveness. Thus the rate of inactivation of a number of trypsin-like proteinases by D-Phe-Pro-Arg-CH2F varied by more than two orders of magnitude.
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