Forodesine (BCX-1777, Immucillin H) - A New Purine Nucleoside Analogue: Mechanism of Action and Potential Clinical Application

Author(s): Anna Korycka, Jerzy Z. Blonski, Tadeusz Robak

Journal Name: Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry

Volume 7 , Issue 9 , 2007

Become EABM
Become Reviewer
Call for Editor


Recently a few new purine nucleoside analogues (PNA) have been synthesized and introduced into preclinical and clinical trials. The transition-state theory has led to the design of 9-deazanucleotide analogues that are purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) inhibitors, termed immucillins. Among them the most promising results have been obtained with forodesine. Forodesine (BCX-1777, Immucillin H, 1-(9-deazahypoxanthin)-1,4-dideoxy-1,4-imino-D-ribitol) has carbon-carbon linkage between a cyclic amine moiety that replaces ribose and 9-deaza-hypixanthine. The drug is a novel T-cell selective immunosuppressive agent which in the presence of 2-deoxyguanosine (dGuo) inhibits human lymphocyte proliferation activated by various agents such as interleukin-2 (IL-2), mixed lymphocyte reaction and phytohemagglutinin. In the mechanism of forodesine action two enzymes are involved: PNP and deoxycytidine kinase (dCK). PNP catalyzes the phosphorolysis of dGuo to guanine (Gu) and 2-deoxyribose-1-phosphate, whereas dCK converts dGuo to deoxyguanosino- 5-monophosphate (dGMP) and finally to deoxyguanosino-5-triphosphate (dGTP). The affinity of dGuo is higher for PNP than for dCK. Nevertheless, if PNP is blocked by forodesine, plasma dGuo is not cleaved to Gu, but instead it is intracellularly converted to dGTP by high dCK activity, which leads to inhibition of ribonucleotide reductase (RR), an enzyme required for DNA synthesis and cell replication, which eventually results in apoptosis. Forodesine is active in some experimental tumors in mice, however it could be used for the treatment of human T-cell proliferative disorders and it is undergoing phase II clinical trials for the treatment of T-cell non-Hodgkins lymphoma, which includes cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). Moreover, recent preclinical and clinical data showed activity of forodesine in B-cell acute lympholastic leukemia (ALL).

Keywords: Forodesine, BCX-1777, Immucillin H, purine nucleoside analogue, purine nucleoside phosphorylase inhibitor

Rights & PermissionsPrintExport Cite as

Article Details

Year: 2007
Page: [976 - 983]
Pages: 8
DOI: 10.2174/138955707781662636
Price: $65

Article Metrics

PDF: 11