Research Papers:

Glutathione may have implications in the design of 3-bromopyruvate treatment protocols for both fungal and algal infections as well as multiple myeloma

Katarzyna Niedźwiecka _, Mariusz Dyląg, Daria Augustyniak, Grażyna Majkowska-Skrobek, Magdalena Cal-Bąkowska, Young H. Ko, Peter L. Pedersen, Andre Goffeau and Stanisław Ułaszewski

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:65614-65626. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.11592

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Katarzyna Niedźwiecka1, Mariusz Dyląg1,*, Daria Augustyniak2, Grażyna Majkowska-Skrobek2, Magdalena Cal-Bąkowska1, Young H. Ko3, Peter L. Pedersen4, Andre Goffeau5, Stanisław Ułaszewski1,*

1Department of Genetics,Institute of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland

2Department of Pathogen Biology and Immunology, Institute of Genetics and Microbiology, University of Wroclaw, Wroclaw, Poland

3KoDiscovery, LLC, UM BioPark, Baltimore, MD, USA

4Departments of Biological Chemistry and Oncology and Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (member at large), Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA

5Institut des Sciences de la Vie, Université Catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Mariusz Dyląg, email: [email protected]

Stanisław Ułaszewski, email: [email protected]

Keywords: 3-bromopyruvate (3BP), glutathione, buthionine sulfoximine, genes expression, fungi and MM cells

Received: January 05, 2016     Accepted: August 13, 2016     Published: August 25, 2016


In different fungal and algal species, the intracellular concentration of reduced glutathione (GSH) correlates closely with their susceptibility to killing by the small molecule alkylating agent 3-bromopyruvate (3BP). Additionally, in the case of Cryptococcus neoformans cells 3BP exhibits a synergistic effect with buthionine sulfoximine (BSO), a known GSH depletion agent. This effect was observed when 3BP and BSO were used together at concentrations respectively of 4-5 and almost 8 times lower than their Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MIC). Finally, at different concentrations of 3BP (equal to the half-MIC, MIC and double-MIC in a case of fungi, 1 mM and 2.5 mM for microalgae and 25, 50, 100 μM for human multiple myeloma (MM) cells), a significant decrease in GSH concentration is observed inside microorganisms as well as tumor cells. In contrast to the GSH concentration decrease, the presence of 3BP at concentrations corresponding to sub-MIC values or half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) clearly results in increasing the expression of genes encoding enzymes involved in the synthesis of GSH in Cryptococcus neoformans and MM cells. Moreover, as shown for the first time in the MM cell model, the drastic decrease in the ATP level and GSH concentration and the increase in the amount of ROS caused by 3BP ultimately results in cell death.

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