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Human serum albumin-based design of a diflunisal prodrug.

Eur J Pharm Biopharm. 2013 Feb 13;

Authors: Yang F, Ma Z, Zhang Y, Lin G, Li M, Qin J, Lockridge O, Liang H


The cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, diflunisal is used in the clinic for its anti-inflammatory activity. About 99% of a dose of diflunisal is unavailable for reaction with the target enzyme, because diflunisal strongly binds to human serum albumin (HSA). To reduce the binding affinity of diflunisal to albumin, we designed and synthesized the prodrug acetyldiflunisal. The crystal structure of HSA complexed with fatty acid and acetyldiflunisal revealed that acetyldiflunisal binds to the IIA subdomain and that upon binding it acetylates lysine 199. Mass spectrometry confirmed that acetyldiflunisal acetylates Lys 199. The acetylated albumin had 2-fold weaker binding affinity for diflunisal as demonstrated by fluorescence quenching. Reduced binding affinity means that diflunisal is more easily released from acetylated albumin into the circulation. Therefore, lower doses of acetyldiflunisal compared to diflunisal will be required. Taken together, our results not only provide a template for design of HSA-based prodrugs, but also pave the way toward more effective use of diflunisal in the clinic.

PMID: 23416065 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]