Author(s): Griffith OW, Meister A
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Abstract Buthionine sulfoximine (S-n-butyl homocysteine sulfoximine), the most potent of a series of analogs of methionine sulfoximine thus far studied (Griffith, O.W., Anderson, M.E., and Meister, A. (1979) J. Biol. Chem. 254, 1205-1210), inhibited gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase about 20 times more effectively than did prothionine sulfoximine and at least 100 times more effectively than methionine sulfoximine. The findings support the conclusion that the S-alkyl moiety of the sulfoximine binds at the enzyme site that normally binds the acceptor amino acid. Thus, the affinity of the enzyme for the S-ethyl, S-n-propyl, and S-n-butyl sulfoximines increases in a manner which is parallel to those of the corresponding isosteric acceptor amino acid substrates, i.e. glycine, alanine, and alpha-aminobutyrate. Buthionine sulfoximine did not inhibit glutamine synthetase detectably, nor did it produce convulsions when injected into mice. Injection of buthionine sulfoximine into mice decreased the level of glutathione in the kidney to a greater extent (less than 20\% of the control level) than found previously after giving prothionine sulfoximine. alpha-Methyl buthionine sulfoximine was also prepared and found to be almost as effective as buthionine sulfoximine; this compound would not be expected to undergo substantial degradative metabolism. Buthionine sulfoximine and alpha-methyl buthionine sulfoximine may be useful agents for inhibition of glutathione synthesis in various experimental systems.
This article was published in J Biol Chem
and referenced in Chemotherapy: Open Access