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Free Radic Biol Med. 2012 Jan 15;52(2):257-65. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2011.10.447. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Small molecule inhibitors of mammalian thioredoxin reductase.

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State Key Laboratory of Applied Organic Chemistry, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu 730000, China.


Mammalian thioredoxin reductases (TrxRs) are a family of NADPH-dependent flavoproteins with a penultimate selenocysteine residue at the carboxy-terminus. Besides their native substrate thioredoxins (Trx), the enzymes show a broad substrate specificity, at least partially, because of the C-terminal redox-active site that is easily accessible in the reduced form. TrxRs are ubiquitous in all kinds of cells and have a critical role in regulating intracellular redox signaling. In recent years, a wealth of evidence has revealed that overactivation/dysfunction of TrxRs is closely related to various diseases, especially in tumor development, and thus the past decades have witnessed an expanding interest in finding TrxRs inhibitors, which might be promising agents for cancer chemotherapy. Herein we reviewed the small molecule inhibitors of mammalian TrxRs, with an emphasis on those that have potential anticancer activity. This review includes the nonpatent references up to 2010 that deal with mammalian TrxR inhibitors.

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