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Mol Pharmacol. 1996 Dec;50(6):1502-10.

Identification of enzymes catalyzing two-step phosphorylation of cidofovir and the effect of cytomegalovirus infection on their activities in host cells.

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Department of Biochemistry and Virology, Gilead Sciences, Foster City, California 94404, USA.


Cidofovir [CDV; (S)-1-(3-hydroxy-2-phosphonomethoxyethyl)cytosine] is an acyclic nucleotide analog with potent and selective in vitro and in vivo activities against a broad spectrum of herpesviruses and other DNA viruses. We studied the mechanism of enzymatic synthesis of CDV diphosphate, the putative antiviral metabolite of CDV. The phosphorylation is two-step process catalyzed by several enzymes. An enzymatic activity phosphorylating CDV to its monophosphate derivative was purified from human liver and identified as pyrimidine nucleoside monophosphate kinase (EC CDV (Km = 2.10 +/- 0.18 mM and Vmax = 1.10 +/- 0.05 micromol/min/mg) was found to be a substantially weaker substrate for purified enzyme than CMP, UMP, or dCMP. Pyrimidine nucleoside monophosphate kinase was used for preparative enzymatic synthesis of CDV monophosphate. Pyruvate kinase (EC, creatine kinase (EC, and nucleoside diphosphate kinase (EC were found to catalyze CDV diphosphate synthesis from CDV monophosphate, whereas phosphoglycerate kinase (EC and succinyl-CoA synthetase (EC did not. Based on Vmax/Km (phosphorylation efficiency) values determined with enzymes purified from human sources, the most efficient phosphorylation of CDV monophosphate is catalyzed by pyruvate kinase. After infection of human lung fibroblasts with cytomegalovirus, the intracellular activities of pyrimidine nucleoside monophosphate kinase, pyruvate kinase, creatine kinase, and nucleoside diphosphate kinase increased 2-, 1.3-, 3-, and 5-fold, respectively. The metabolism of [3H]CDV in mock- and cytomegalovirus-infected cells was examined. The intracellular levels of CDV monophosphate and CDV diphosphate increased approximately 20- and 8-fold, respectively, in cytomegalovirus-infected cells, presumably due to the stimulation of CDV uptake and higher activities of phosphorylating enzymes.

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