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Purine Nucleoside Phosphorylase Inhibitor BCX-1777 (Immucillin-H)--a Novel Potent And Orally Active Immunosuppressive Agent.

S. Bantia, P. J. Miller, C. Parker, S. Ananth, L. Horn, J. Kilpatrick, P. Morris, T. L. Hutchison, J. Montgomery, J. Sandhu
Published 2001 · Medicine, Biology

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Patients with purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) deficiency present a selective T-cell immunodeficiency. Inhibitors of PNP are, therefore, of interest as potential T-cell selective immunosuppressive agents. BCX-1777 is a potent inhibitor of PNP from various species including human, mouse, rat, monkey and dog, with IC50 values ranging from 0.48 to 1.57 nM. BCX-1777, in the presence of 2'-deoxyguanosine (dGuo, 3-10 microM), inhibits human lymphocyte proliferation activated by various agents such as interleukin-2 (IL-2), mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR) and phytohemagglutinin (PHA) (IC50 values < 0.1-0.38 microM). BCX-1777 is a 10-100-fold more potent inhibitor of human lymphocyte proliferation than other known PNP inhibitors like PD141955 and BCX-34. Nucleotide analysis of human lymphocytes indicate that inhibition of proliferation by BCX-1777 correlates with dGTP levels in the cells. BCX-1777 has excellent oral bioavailability (63%) in mice. At a single dose of 10 mg/kg in mice, BCX-1777 elevates dGuo to approximately 5 microM. BCX-1777 was not effective in mouse T-cell models such as delayed type hypersensitivity (DTH) and splenomegaly because mouse T-cells do not accumulate dGTP as do human T-cells. However, in the human peripheral blood lymphocyte severe combined immunodeficiency (hu-PBL-SCID) mouse model, BCX-1777 was effective in prolonging the life span 2-fold or more. This is the first known example of a PNP inhibitor that elevates dGuo in mice similar to the levels observed in PNP-deficient patients. Furthermore, these dGuo levels are also required for in vitro T-cell inhibition by BCX-1777. Thus, BCX-1777 represents a novel class of selective immunosuppressive agents that could have therapeutic utility in various T-cell disorders.
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