The effectiveness of phosphonamidate peptide analogues as inhibitors of rat kidney or human brain metallo-endopeptidase (enkephalinase, E.C. 188.8.131.52) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE, 184.108.40.206) has been explored with a series of enkephalin analogues in which the scissile Gly3-Phe4 amide bond has been replaced with a phosphonamidate moiety. These compounds exhibited good inhibitory potency against enkephalinase with several of the analogues having Ki values in the submicromolar range as contrasted to micromolar or higher toward ACE. Within a series of [(N-acylamino)methyl]phosphonamidates there was a dramatic decrease in inhibitory activity against enkephalinase as the N-acyl moiety was substituted with larger, more hydrophobic acyl groups. Likewise, the inhibitory activity of the [(N-acylamino)methyl]phosphonamidates against ACE was attenuated by larger phenylalkyl acyl functionalities, although not to the same degree as against enkephalinase. However, phosphonamidate pentapeptide analogues of (Leu)enkephalin and (D-Ala2, D-Leu5)enkephalin showed good inhibitory potency against both enzymes. Interestingly, these two (Leu)enkephalin phosphonamidate analogues were completely inactive in the electrically stimulated guinea pig ileum and mouse vas deferens preparations. Conformational factors that may be involved in this inactivity are discussed.