Macrocyclic peptides as allosteric inhibitors of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT)†
Nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT) methylates nicotinamide to form 1-methylnicotinamide (MNA) using S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) as the methyl donor. The complexity of the role of NNMT in healthy and disease states is slowly being elucidated and provides an indication that NNMT may be an interesting therapeutic target for a variety of diseases including cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Most inhibitors of NNMT described to date are structurally related to one or both of its substrates. In the search for structurally diverse NNMT inhibitors, an mRNA display screening technique was used to identify macrocyclic peptides which bind to NNMT. Several of the cyclic peptides identified in this manner show potent inhibition of NNMT with IC50 values as low as 229 nM. The peptides were also found to downregulate MNA production in cellular assays. Interestingly, substrate competition experiments reveal that these cyclic peptide inhibitors are noncompetitive with either SAM or NA indicating they may be the first allosteric inhibitors reported for NNMT.