Monday, July 29, 2013

Scientists set out to develop safer versions of acetaminophen

Acetaminophen (ApAP) is an electron donor capable of reducing radicals generated by redox cycling of hemeproteins. It acts on the prostaglandin H synthases (cyclooxygenases; COXs) to reduce the protoporphyrin radical cation in the peroxidase site of the enzyme, thus preventing the intramolecular electron transfer that generates the Tyr385 radical required for abstraction of a hydrogen from arachidonic acid to initiate prostaglandin synthesis. Unrelated to this pharmacological action, metabolism of ApAP by CYPs yields an iminoquinone electrophile that is responsible for the hepatotoxicity, which results from high doses of the drug. Researchers synthesized novel heterocyclic phenols predicted to be electron donors. Two of these inhibited the oxygenation of arachidonic acid by PGHS-1 and myoglobin and also were shown to be more metabolically stable and exhibited less direct cytotoxicity than acetaminophen. They are leading candidates for studies to determine whether they are free of the metabolism-based hepatotoxicity produced by acetaminophen.....

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