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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Valdecoxib: assessment of cyclooxygenase-2 potency and selectivity.

The discovery of a second isoform of cyclooxygenase ( COX) led to the search for compounds that could selectively inhibit COX-2 in humans while sparing prostaglandin formation from COX-1. Celecoxib and rofecoxib were among the molecules developed from these efforts. We report here the pharmacological properties of a third selective COX-2 inhibitor, valdecoxib, which is the most potent and in vitro selective of the marketed COX-2 inhibitors that we have studied. Recombinant human COX-1 and COX-2 were used to screen for new highly potent and in vitro selective COX-2 inhibitors and compare kinetic mechanisms of binding and enzyme inhibition with other COX inhibitors. Valdecoxib potently inhibits recombinant COX-2, with an IC(50) of 0.005 microM; this compares with IC values of 0.05 microM for celecoxib, 0.5 microM for rofecoxib, and 5 microM for etoricoxib. Unique binding interactions of valdecoxib with COX-2 translate into a fast rate of inactivation of COX-2 (110,000 M/s compared with 7000 M/s for rofecoxib and 80 M/s for etoricoxib). The overall saturation binding affinity for COX-2 of valdecoxib is 2.6 nM (compared with 1.6 nM for celecoxib, 51 nM for rofecoxib, and 260 nM for etoricoxib), with a slow off-rate (t(1/2) approximately 98 min). Valdecoxib inhibits COX-1 in a competitive fashion only at very high concentrations (IC(50) = 150 microM). Collectively, these data provide a mechanistic basis for the potency and in vitro selectivity of valdecoxib for COX-2. Valdecoxib showed similar activity in the human whole-blood COX assay ( COX-2 IC(50) = 0.24 microM; COX-1 IC(50) = 21.9 microM). We also determined whether this in vitro potency and selectivity translated to significant potency in vivo. In rats, valdecoxib demonstrated marked potency in acute and chronic models of inflammation (air pouch ED(50) = 0.06 mg/kg; paw edema ED(50) = 5.9 mg/kg; adjuvant arthritis ED(50) = 0.03 mg/kg). In these same animals, COX-1 was spared at doses greater than 200 mg/kg. These data provide a basis for the observed potent anti-inflammatory activity of valdecoxib in humans.[1]


  1. Valdecoxib: assessment of cyclooxygenase-2 potency and selectivity. Gierse, J.K., Zhang, Y., Hood, W.F., Walker, M.C., Trigg, J.S., Maziasz, T.J., Koboldt, C.M., Muhammad, J.L., Zweifel, B.S., Masferrer, J.L., Isakson, P.C., Seibert, K. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. (2005) [Pubmed]
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