Kempopeptin C, a novel chlorinated analogue of kempopeptin B, was discovered from a marine cyanobacterium collected from Kemp Channel in Florida. The structure was elucidated using NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (MS). The presence of the basic Lys residue adjacent to the N
-terminus of the 3-amino-6-hydroxy-2-piperidone (Ahp) moiety contributed to its selectivity towards trypsin and related proteases. The antiproteolytic activity of kempopeptin C was evaluated against trypsin, plasmin and matriptase and found to inhibit these enzymes with IC50
values of 0.19, 0.36 and 0.28 μM, respectively. Due to the significance of these proteases in cancer progression and metastasis, as well as their functional redundancy with respect to targeting overlapping substrates, we examined the effect of kempopeptin C on the downstream cellular substrates of matriptase: CDCP1 and desmoglein-2 (Dsg-2). Kempopeptin C was shown to inhibit the cleavage of both substrates in vitro. Additionally, kempopeptin C reduced the cleavage of CDCP1 in MDA-MB-231 cells up to 10 µM. The functional relevance of targeting matriptase and related proteases was investigated by assessing the effect of kempopeptin C on the migration of breast cancer cells. Kempopeptin C inhibited the migration of the invasive MDA-MB-231 cells by 37 and 60% at 10 and 20 µM, respectively.
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