Synthesis, in vitro and in vivo activity of thiamine antagonist transketolase inhibitors
Tumor cells extensively utilize the pentose phosphate pathway for the synthesis of ribose. Transketolase is a key enzyme in this pathway and has been suggested as a target for inhibition in the treatment of cancer. In a pharmacodynamic study, nude mice with xenografted HCT-116 tumors were dosed with 1 ('N3'-pyridyl thiamine'; 3-(6-methyl-2-amino-pyridin-3-ylmethyl)-5-(2-hydroxy-ethyl)-4-methyl-thiazol-3-ium chloride hydrochloride), an analog of thiamine, the co-factor of transketolase. Transketolase activity was almost completely suppressed in blood, spleen, and tumor cells, but there was little effect on the activity of the other thiamine-utilizing enzymes alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase or glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase. Synthesis and SAR of transketolase inhibitors is described.
Available from: Craig T. Jordan
- "To first determine whether the activity of thiaminase was related to thiamine depletion, we explored the ability of small molecule thiamine antagonists to potentiate the cytotoxicity of thiaminase. We screened thiamine analogs pyrithiamine, oxythiamine and N3’ pyridylthiamine (N3PT) ,  for activity as inhibitors of thiaminase and substrates of thiaminase. We found that oxythiamine and N3PT were thiaminase inhibitors, and that pyrithiamine was a thiaminase substrate (data not shown). "
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ABSTRACT: Thiamine-dependent enzymes (TDEs) control metabolic pathways that are frequently altered in cancer and therefore present cancer-relevant targets. We have previously shown that the recombinant enzyme thiaminase cleaves and depletes intracellular thiamine, has growth inhibitory activity against leukemia and breast cancer cell lines, and that its growth inhibitory effects were reversed in leukemia cell lines by rapamycin. Now, we first show further evidence of thiaminase therapeutic potential by demonstrating its activity against breast and leukemia xenografts, and against a primary leukemia xenograft. We therefore further explored the metabolic effects of thiaminase in combination with rapamycin in leukemia and breast cell lines. Thiaminase decreased oxygen consumption rate and increased extracellular acidification rate, consistent with the inhibitory effect of acute thiamine depletion on the activity of the TDEs pyruvate dehydrogenase and 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complexes; these effects were reversed by rapamycin. Metabolomic studies demonstrated intracellular thiamine depletion and the presence of the thiazole cleavage product in thiaminase-treated cells, providing validation of the experimental procedures. Accumulation of ribose and ribulose in both cell lines support the thiaminase-mediated suppression of the TDE transketolase. Interestingly, thiaminase suppression of another TDE, branched chain amino ketoacid dehydrogenase (BCKDH), showed very different patterns in the two cell lines: in RS4 leukemia cells it led to an increase in BCKDH substrates, and in MCF-7 breast cancer cells it led to a decrease in BCKDH products. Immunoblot analyses showed corresponding differences in expression of BCKDH pathway enzymes, and partial protection of thiaminase growth inhibition by gabapentin indicated that BCKDH inhibition may be a mechanism of thiaminase-mediated toxicity. Surprisingly, most of thiaminase-mediated metabolomic effects were also reversed by rapamycin. Thus, these studies demonstrate that acute intracellular thiamine depletion by recombinant thiaminase results in metabolic changes in thiamine-dependent metabolism, and demonstrate a previously unrecognized role of mTOR signaling in the regulation of thiamine-dependent metabolism.
Available from: Cindy Wechsler
- "In fact, the vast majority of ribose for nucleic acid biosynthesis in cancer cells is provided by the non-oxidative part of the PPP through activity of TKT and TAL. There is experimental evidence that TKT activity can be effectively inhibited by applying coenzymatically inactive thiamin analogs, which in some but not all instances reduced the proliferation of tumor cells , , , . "
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ABSTRACT: Besides transketolase (TKT), a thiamin-dependent enzyme of the pentose phosphate pathway, the human genome encodes for two closely related transketolase-like proteins, which share a high sequence identity with TKT. Transketolase-like protein 1 (TKTL1) has been implicated in cancerogenesis as its cellular expression levels were reported to directly correlate with invasion efficiency of cancer cells and patient mortality. It has been proposed that TKTL1 exerts its function by catalyzing an unusual enzymatic reaction, a hypothesis that has been the subject of recent controversy. The most striking difference between TKTL1 and TKT is a deletion of 38 consecutive amino acids in the N-terminal domain of the former, which constitute part of the active site in authentic TKT. Our structural and sequence analysis suggested that TKTL1 might not possess transketolase activity. In order to test this hypothesis in the absence of a recombinant expression system for TKTL1 and resilient data on its biochemical properties, we have engineered and biochemically characterized a "pseudo-TKTL1" Δ38 deletion variant of human TKT (TKTΔ38) as a viable model of TKTL1. Although the isolated protein is properly folded under in vitro conditions, both thermal stability as well as stability of the TKT-specific homodimeric assembly are markedly reduced. Circular dichroism and NMR spectroscopic analysis further indicates that TKTΔ38 is unable to bind the thiamin cofactor in a specific manner, even at superphysiological concentrations. No transketolase activity of TKTΔ38 can be detected for conversion of physiological sugar substrates thus arguing against an intrinsically encoded enzymatic function of TKTL1 in tumor cell metabolism.
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ABSTRACT: Transketolase, the most critical enzyme of the non-oxidative branch of the pentose phosphate pathway, has been reported as a new target protein for cancer research. However, since the crystal structure of human Transketolase is unknown, no structure-based methods can be used to identify new inhibitors. We performed homology modeling of human Transketolase using the crystal structure of yeast as a template, and then refined the model through molecular dynamics simulations. Based on the resulting structure we propose five critical sites containing arginines (Arg 101, Arg 318, Arg 395, Arg 401 and Arg 474) that contribute to dimer stability or catalytic activity. In addition, an interaction analysis of its cofactor (thiamine pyrophosphate) and a binding site description were carried out, suggesting the substrate channel already identified in yeast Transketolase. A binding free energy calculation of its cofactor was performed to establish the main driving forces of binding. In summary, we describe a reliable model of human Transketolase that can be used in structure-based drug design and in the search for new Transketolase inhibitors that disrupt dimer stability and cover the critical sites found.
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