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Anal Biochem. 1984 Jan;136(1):31-8.

Thiol-disulfide interchange between cystine and N-2-mercaptoethyl-1, 3-diaminopropane as a potential treatment for cystinuria.


The radioprotective compound WR2721 is a thiophosphate, which, when administered orally, is activated at the acid pH of the stomach to its free thiol (MDP). The free thiol is a mucolytic compound which acts via the reduction of disulfide bonds of mucin molecules. An equimolar mixture of MDP and cysteine, in urine at pH 6.0 and 37 degrees C, when oxidized by molecular oxygen, preferentially forms the soluble mixed disulfide between MDP and cysteine. The disulfide cystine will undergo thiol-disulfide interchange with MDP; as a result, cystine crystals are effectively dissolved. Moreover, in the presence of catalytic amounts of free thiol, the disulfide of MDP will undergo thiol-disulfide interchange with cystine to dissolve cystine crystals. The mixed disulfide of MDP with cysteine is soluble in urine at pH 6.0 and 37 degrees C to at least 100 mg/ml. Chromatographic procedures which permit the analysis of MDP and its mixed disulfide derivatives as MDP-sulfonic acid are described. By these procedures, it was demonstrated that 20% of a single oral dose of WR2721 was excreted as MDP derivatives in the urine of normal volunteers. These procedures will permit the evaluation of WR2721 in the treatment of cystinuria.

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