Pharmacological characterisation of selected pyrrolobenzodiazepines as anti-cancer agents. Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characterisation of the pyrrolobenzodiazepine dimer SJG-136 and the monomers D709119, MMY-SJG and SJG-303
SupervisorLoadman, Paul M.
Jenkins, Terence C.
MetadataView full catalogue record
KeywordsPyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD); Anti-cancer; SJG-136; D709119; DNA-interactive agent; Pharmacokinetics; Pharmacodynamics; HPLC; Glutathione; Pre-clinical; Tumour cell type selective cytotoxicity
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InstitutionUniversity of Bradford
DepartmentTom Connors Cancer Research Centre
This study aimed to investigate the pharmacology of selected pyrrolobenzodiazepine (PBD) compounds shown to have cytotoxic activity with predicted DNA sequence selectivity. Research focused upon the PBD dimer, SJG-136, selected for clinical trials, and the novel PBD monomer compounds D709119, MMY-SJG and SJG-303. SJG-136, a novel sequence-selective DNA minor groove cross-linking agent, was shown to have potent tumour cell type selective cytotoxicity in in vitro assays. Pharmacokinetic studies in mice via both the i.p. and i.v. route (dosed at the maximum tolerated dose (MTD)) showed that SJG-136 reaches concentrations in plasma well in excess of the in vitro IC50 values for 1 h exposure, and was detected in tumour and brain samples also above the in vitro IC50 values. Furthermore, SJG-136 showed linear pharmacokinetics over a 3-fold drug dose range. Metabolism studies showed SJG-136 is readily metabolised in vitro by hepatic microsomes, predominantly to a monodemethylated metabolite; this metabolite could be detected in vivo. Analytical method development work was also conducted for the imminent Phase I clinical trial of SJG-136 resulting in a sensitive and selective bio-analytical detection protocol. Comet analysis showed that SJG-136 dosed at the MTD and ⅓MTD causes significant interstrand DNA cross-linking in lymphocytes in vivo. In vitro studies demonstrated that SJG-136 localises within the cell nucleus, and acts to disrupt cell division via a G2/M block in the cell cycle at realistic concentrations and exposure times that are achievable in vivo. In vivo pharmacokinetic studies of D709119 showed the compound is easily detectable in mouse plasma following i.p. dosing at the MTD, but could not be detected in either tumour or brain samples. In vitro cytotoxicity studies revealed D709119 to have potent activity across a selection of tumour cell lines. SJG-136, D709119, MMY-SJG, SJG-303 and DC-81 demonstrated a non-enzyme-catalysed reactivity with the biologically relevant thiol, reduced glutathione (GSH). Studies demonstrated that reactivity of the PBD compounds toward GSH was dependent on GSH concentrations. At levels of GSH found in plasma, the PBD compounds showed considerably lower reactivity with GSH than at intracellular GSH levels. SJG-136 and D709119 also showed favourable pharmacokinetic profiles in mice, and warrant further study for anti-tumour activity in vivo and progression to use in patients.