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Biochem Pharmacol. 1995 Aug 25;50(5):705-14.

Potential chemotherapeutic activity of 4-iodo-3-nitrobenzamide. Metabolic reduction to the 3-nitroso derivative and induction of cell death in tumor cells in culture.

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Laboratory for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, San Francisco State University, Tiburon, CA 94920, USA.


A C-nitroso prodrug, 4-iodo-3-nitrobenzamide, was synthesized, and its action on a variety of tumor cells of human and animal origin tested. This prodrug was reduced transiently by tumor cells to 4-iodo-3-nitrosobenzamide at a very low rate, which was, however, sufficient to kill tumor cells. The final reduction product was 4-iodo-3-aminobenzamide, and no intermediates accumulated. No toxicity could be observed in hamsters even at 200 mg/kg, given i.p. daily for 7 days. The chemical reactivity of both 4-iodo-3-nitrosobenzamide and its noniodinated homolog with reduced ascorbate yielded the hydroxylamines. With glutathione, 4-iodo-3-aminobenzamide was formed, suggesting glutathione sulfinic acid formation. Confirming earlier studies, 4-iodo-3-nitrosobenzamide inactivated poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase by zinc ejection from the first zinc finger of this nuclear protein. The iodinated nitroso compound was more effective than its iodine-free analog. Selective tumoricidal action appeared to correlate with the reduction of the nitro group to nitroso in tumor cells, and with the previously described subsequent induction of tumor apoptosis by the C-nitroso intermediate. These processes were accelerated by buthionine sulfoximine, which diminishes cellular GSH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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