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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Oct 3;309(4):917-22.

Structural basis for inhibition of human PNP by immucillin-H.

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Departamento de Física, UNESP, São José do Rio Preto, SP 15054-000, Brazil.


Purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) catalyzes the phosphorolysis of the N-ribosidic bonds of purine nucleosides and deoxynucleosides. PNP is a target for inhibitor development aiming at T-cell immune response modulation. This work reports on the crystallographic study of the complex of human PNP-immucillin-H (HsPNP-ImmH) solved at 2.6A resolution using synchrotron radiation. Immucillin-H (ImmH) inhibits the growth of malignant T-cell lines in the presence of deoxyguanosine without affecting non-T-cell tumor lines. ImmH inhibits activated normal human T cells after antigenic stimulation in vitro. These biological effects of ImmH suggest that this agent may have utility in the treatment of certain human diseases characterized by abnormal T-cell growth or activation. This is the first structural report of human PNP complexed with immucillin-H. The comparison of the complex HsPNP-ImmH with recent crystallographic structures of human PNP explains the high specificity of immucillin-H for human PNP.

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