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5'-O-Trityl derivatives of thymidine (dThd), (E)-5-(2-bromovinyl)-2'-deoxyuridine (BVDU), and their acyclic analogs 1-[(Z)-4-triphenylmethoxy-2-butenyl]thymine (KIN-12) and (E)-5-(2-bromovinyl)-1-[(Z)-4-triphenylmethoxy-2-butenyl]uracil (KIN-52) have been synthesized and evaluated for their inhibitory activity against the amino acid sequence related mitochondrial dThd kinase (TK-2), herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) TK, and Drosophila melanogaster multifunctional 2'-deoxynucleoside kinase (Dm-dNK). Several compounds proved markedly inhibitory to these enzymes and represent a new generation of nucleoside kinase inhibitors. KIN-52 was the most potent and selective inhibitor of TK-2 (IC(50), 1.3 microM; K(i), 0.50 microM; K(i)/K(m), 0.37) but was not inhibitory against HSV-1 TK and Dm-dNK at 100 microM. As found for the alternative substrate BVDU, the tritylated compounds competitively inhibited the three enzymes with respect to dThd. However, whereas BVDU behaved as a noncompetitive inhibitor (alternative substrate) of TK-2 and HSV-1 TK with respect to ATP as the varying substrate, the novel tritylated enzyme inhibitors emerged as reversible purely uncompetitive inhibitors of these enzymes. Computer-assisted modeling studies are in agreement with these findings. The tritylated compounds do not act as alternative substrates and they showed a type of kinetics against the nucleoside kinases different from that of BVDU. KIN-12, and particularly KIN-52, are the very first non-nucleoside specific inhibitors of TK-2 reported and may be useful for studying the physiological role of the mitochondrial TK-2 enzyme.

Original publication




Journal article


Molecular pharmacology

Publication Date





263 - 270


Rega Institute for Medical Research, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


Mitochondria, Animals, Drosophila melanogaster, Simplexvirus, Uracil, Multienzyme Complexes, Phosphotransferases (Alcohol Group Acceptor), Thymidine Kinase, Thymidine, Adenosine Triphosphate, Enzyme Inhibitors, Binding, Competitive, Substrate Specificity, Kinetics