The obligate intracellular bacteria chlamydia is major human pathogen that causes millions of trachoma, sexually transmitted infections and pneumonia worldwide. We serendipitously found that both calpain inhibitors z-Val-Phe-CHO and z-Leu-Nle-CHO showed marked inhibitory activity against chlamydial growth in human epithelial HeLa cells, whereas other calpain inhibitors not. These peptidomimetic inhibitors consist of N-benzyloxycarbonyl group and hydrophobic dipeptide derivatives. Both compounds strongly restrict the chlamydial growth even addition at the 12 h post infection. Notably, inhibitors-mediated growth inhibition of chlamydia was independent on host calpain activity. Electron microscopic analysis revealed that z-Val-Phe-CHO inhibited chlamydial growth by arresting bacterial cell division and RB-EB re-transition, but not by changing into persistent state. We searched and found that z-Leu-Leu-CHO and z-Phe-Ala-FMK also inhibited chlamydial growth. Neither biotin-hydrophobic dipeptide nor morpholinoureidyl-hydrophobic dipeptide shows inhibitory effects on chlamydial intracellular growth. Our results suggested the possibility of some chemical derivatives based on z-hydrophobic dipeptide group for future therapeutic usage to the chlamydial infectious disease.
J. Infect. Chemother. (Journal of infection and chemotherapy : official journal of the Japan Society of Chemotherapy)
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