We have previously reported the in vitro and in vivo efficacy of N,N-bis(2-chloroethyl)-2-(1-methyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl)propenamide (MP-MUS), a prodrug that targeted the mitochondria of glioblastoma (GBM). The mitochondrial enzyme, monoamine oxidase B (MAOB), is highly expressed in GBM and oxidizes an uncharged methyl-tetrahydropyridine (MP-) moiety into the mitochondrially targeted cationic form, methyl-pyridinium (Pþ-). Coupling this MAOB-sensitive group to a nitrogen mustard produced a prodrug that damaged GBM mitochondria and killed GBM cells. Unfortunately, the intrinsic reactivity of the nitrogen mustard group and low solubility of MP-MUS precluded clinical development. In our second-generation prodrug, MP-Pt(IV), we coupled the MP group to an unreactive cisplatin precursor. The enzymatic conversion of MP-Pt(IV) to Pþ-Pt(IV) was tested using recombinant human MAOA and rhMAOB. The generation of cisplatin from Pt(IV) by ascorbate was studied optically and using mass spectroscopy. Efficacy toward primary GBM cells and tumors was studied in vitro and in an intracranial patient-derived xenograft mice GBM model. Our studies demonstrate that MP-Pt(IV) is selectively activated by MAOB. MP-Pt(IV) is highly toxic toward GBM cells in vitro. MP-Pt(IV) toxicity against GBM is potentiated by elevating mitochondrial ascorbate and can be arrested by MAOB inhibition. In in vitro studies, sublethal MP-Pt(IV) doses elevated mitochondrial MAOB levels in surviving GBM cells. MP-Pt(IV) is a potent chemotherapeutic in intracranial patient-derived xenograft mouse models of primary GBM and potentiates both temozolomide and temozolomide–chemoradiation therapies. MP-Pt (IV) was well tolerated and is highly effective against GBM in both in vitro and in vivo models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2445-2453
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Cancer Therapeutics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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