, Volume 29, Issue 3, pp 255-261
Date: 08 Aug 2005

Potent isozyme-selective inhibition of human glutathione S-transferase A1-1 by a novel glutathione S-conjugate

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Elevated levels of glutathione S-transferases (GSTs) are among the factors associated with an increased resistance of tumors to a variety of antineoplastic drugs. Hence a major advancement to overcome GST-mediated detoxification of antineoplastic drugs is the development of GST inhibitors. Two such agents have been synthesized and tested on the human Alpha, Mu and Pi GST classes, which are the most representative targets for inhibitor design. The novel fluorescent glutathione S-conjugate L-γ-glutamyl-(S-9-fluorenylmethyl)-L-cysteinyl-glycine (4) has been found to be a highly potent inhibitor of human GSTA1-1 in vitro (IC50=0.11±0.01 μM). The peptide is also able to inhibit GSTP1-1 and GSTM2-2 isoenzymes efficiently. The backbone-modified analog L-γ-(γ-oxa)glutamyl-(S-9-fluorenylmethyl)-L-cysteinyl-glycine (6), containing an urethanic junction as isosteric replacement of the γ-glutamyl-cysteine peptide bond, has been developed as γ-glutamyl transpeptidase-resistant mimic of 4 and evaluated in the same inhibition tests. The pseudopeptide 6 was shown to inhibit the GSTA1-1 protein, albeit to a lesser extent than the lead compound, with no effect on the activity of the isoenzymes belonging to the Mu and Pi classes. The comparative loss in biological activity consequent to the isosteric change confirms that the γ-glutamyl moiety plays an important role in modulating the affinity of the ligands addressed to interact with GSH-dependent proteins. The new specific inhibitors may have a potential in counteracting tumor-protective effects depending upon GSTA1-1 activity.