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Bioorg Chem. 2013 Aug;49:40-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bioorg.2013.06.007. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

Mutual prodrugs containing bio-cleavable and drug releasable disulfide linkers.

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  • 1Medicinal Chemistry Division, Piramal Life Sciences, Piramal Enterprises Ltd., Nirlon Complex, Goregaon East, Mumbai 400 063, India.


We report herein the design and synthesis of several representative examples of novel mutual prodrugs containing nine distinct types of self-immolative drug-releasable disulfide linkers with urethane, ester, carbonate, or imide linkages between the linker and any two amine/amide/urea (primary or secondary) or carboxyl or hydroxyl (including phenolic)-containing drugs. We also report drug release profiles of a few representative mutual prodrugs in biological fluids such as simulated gastric fluid and human plasma. We also propose plausible mechanisms of drug release from these mutual prodrugs. We have also conducted a few mechanistic studies based on suggested sulfhydryl-assisted cleavage of mutual prodrugs and characterized a few important metabolites to give support to the proposed mechanism of drug release from the reported mutual prodrugs.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Controlled release; Drug releasable disulfide linkers; Mutual prodrugs; Preclinical pharmacokinetics; Prodrugs; Self-immolative bio-cleavable linkers; Stability; Sulfhydryl-assisted cleavage; Synthesis; Thiol-assisted cleavage

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