Inhibitors of the Hydrolytic Enzyme Dimethylarginine Dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH): Discovery, Synthesis and Development

Rhys Murphy, Sara Tommasi, Benjamin Lewis, Arduino Mangoni

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)
    37 Downloads (Pure)


    Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase (DDAH) is a highly conserved hydrolytic enzyme found in numerous species, including bacteria, rodents, and humans. In humans, the DDAH-1 isoform is known to metabolize endogenous asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA) and monomethyl arginine (L-NMMA), with ADMA proposed to be a putative marker of cardiovascular disease. Current literature reports identify the DDAH family of enzymes as a potential therapeutic target in the regulation of nitric oxide (NO) production, mediated via its biochemical interaction with the nitric oxide synthase (NOS) family of enzymes. Increased DDAH expression and NO production have been linked to multiple pathological conditions, specifically, cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and septic shock. As such, the discovery, chemical synthesis, and development of DDAH inhibitors as potential drug candidates represent a growing field of interest. This review article summarizes the current knowledge on DDAH inhibition and the derived pharmacokinetic parameters of the main DDAH inhibitors reported in the literature. Furthermore, current methods of development and chemical synthetic pathways are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number615
    Number of pages32
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016


    • Arginine
    • Asymmetric dimethylarginine
    • Dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase
    • Enzyme inhibitors
    • Monomethyl arginine
    • Nitric oxide
    • Organic synthesis


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