The EPXH2 gene encodes for the soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH), a homodimeric enzyme with each monomer containing two domains with distinct activities. The C-terminal domain, containing the epoxide hydrolase activity (Cterm-EH), is involved in the metabolism of arachidonic acid epoxides, endogenous chemical mediators that play important roles in blood pressure regulation, cell growth, and inflammation. We recently demonstrated that the N-terminal domain contains a Mg2+-dependent lipid phosphate phosphatase activity (Nterm-phos). However, the biological role of this activity is unknown. The inability of known phosphatase inhibitors to inhibit the Nterm-phos constitutes a significant barrier to the elucidation of its function. We describe herein sulfate, sulfonate, and phosphonate lipids as novel potent inhibitors of Nterm-phos. These compounds are allosteric competitive inhibitors with KI in the hundred nanomolar range. These inhibitors may provide a valuable tool to investigate the biological role of the Nterm-phos. We found that polyisoprenyl phosphates are substrates of Nterm-phos, suggesting a possible role in sterol synthesis or inflammation. Furthermore, some of these compounds inhibit the C-terminal sEH activity through a noncompetitive inhibition mechanism involving a new binding site on the C-terminal domain. This novel site may play a role in the natural in vivo regulation of epoxide hydrolysis by sEH.
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