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

Environment-selective synergism using self-assembling cytotoxic and antimicrobial agents.

Environment-selective synergistic toxicity using combinations of aldehydes and hydrazine derivatives was demonstrated in two different model systems in vitro. Combinations of 5-nitro-2-furaldehyde with semi-carbazide and of 2-hydrazinopyridine with pyridine-2-carboxaldehyde, which can react in situ to form antimicrobial hydrazones, demonstrated greater degrees of synergism against the intracellular pathogen, Salmonella typhimurium, at pH 5 relative to pH 7. 4. Combinations are more selectively toxic at pH 5 (vs pH 7.4) than individual precursors and preformed hydrazone products because acid catalysis of hydrazone formation plays a role only for the combinations. A combination of decanal and N-amino, N'-octylguanidine (AOG) exhibited more pronounced synergistic cytolytic activity against erythrocytes in 0% serum than in 1% serum. Serum protein binding of decanal inhibited the formation of the more cytotoxic hydrazone, N-decylidenimino,N'-1-octylguanidine (DIOG), from the less cytotoxic AOG and decanal, and serum protein binding of DIOG prevented this cytotoxin from reaching the cell membrane. Because decanal binding cannot play a role in the cytotoxicity of preformed DIOG, it was less selective for cells in 0% serum than the combination of AOG and decanal. The pH 5 and 0% serum environments represent very simple models for macrophage phagolysosomal compartments and poorly vascularized solid tumor interiors respectively. If environment-selective synergism can be used as a basis for target-selective synergism in other in vitro model systems and in vivo, self-assembling combinations could provide a basis for rational introduction of target-selective synergism into chemotherapeutic drug design.[1]


  1. Environment-selective synergism using self-assembling cytotoxic and antimicrobial agents. Rideout, D., Jaworski, J., Dagnino, R. Biochem. Pharmacol. (1988) [Pubmed]
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