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Chem Biol. 2008 Jul 21;15(7):718-28. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2008.05.015.

Nanomolar CFTR inhibition by pore-occluding divalent polyethylene glycol-malonic acid hydrazides.

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Department of Medicine and Physiology, 1246 Health Sciences East Tower, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143-0521, USA.


Inhibitors of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) chloride channel have potential application as antisecretory therapy in cholera. We synthesized mono- and divalent CFTR inhibitors consisting of a malonic acid hydrazide (MalH) coupled via a disulfonic stilbene linker to polyethylene glycols (PEGs; 0.2-100 kDa). IC50 values for CFTR inhibition were 10-15 microM for the monovalent MalH-PEGs, but substantially lower for divalent MalH-PEG-MalH compounds, decreasing from 1.5 to 0.3 microM with increasing PEG size and showing positive cooperativity. Whole-cell patch-clamp showed voltage-dependent CFTR block with inward rectification. Outside-out patch-clamp showed shortened single-channel openings, indicating CFTR pore block from the extracellular side. Luminally added MalH-PEG-MalH blocked by >90% cholera toxin-induced fluid secretion in mouse intestinal loops (IC50 approximately 10 pmol/loop), and greatly reduced mortality in a suckling mouse cholera model. These conjugates may provide safe, inexpensive antisecretory therapy.

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