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Inhibitors of Lactate Dehydrogenase Isoforms and their Therapeutic Potentials

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Abstract:

In many different species, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) constitutes a major checkpoint of anaerobic glycolysis, by catalyzing the reduction of pyruvate into lactate. This enzyme has recently received a great deal of attention since it may constitute a valid therapeutic target for diseases so different as malaria and cancer. In fact, the isoform expressed by Plasmodium falciparum (pfLDH) is a key enzyme for energy generation of malarial parasites. These species mostly depend on anaerobic glycolysis for energy production, since they lack a citric acid cycle for ATP formation. Therefore, inhibitors of pfLDH would potentially cause mortality of P. falciparum and, to this purpose, several small organic molecules have been recently designed and developed with the aim of blocking this new potential antimalarial chemotherapeutic target. Moreover, most invasive tumour phenotypes show a metabolic switch (Warburg effect) from oxidative phosphorylation to an increased anaerobic glycolysis, by promoting an upregulation of the human isoform-5 of lactate dehydrogenase (hLDH-5 or LDH-A), which is normally present in muscles and in the liver. Hence, inhibition of hLDH-5 may constitute an efficient way to interfere with tumour growth and invasiveness. This review provides an overview of the LDH inhibitors that have been developed up to now, an analysis of their possible isoform-selectivity, and their therapeutic potentials.

Keywords: Lactate dehydrogenase; Plasmodium; Warburg effect; cancer; enzyme; glycolysis; inhibitors; malaria

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/092986710790416263

Affiliations: Dipartimento di Scienze Farmaceutiche, Universita di Pisa, Via Bonanno 6, 56126 Pisa, Italy.

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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  • Current Medicinal Chemistry covers all the latest and outstanding developments in medicinal chemistry and rational drug design. Each issue contains a series of timely in-depth reviews written by leaders in the field covering a range of the current topics in medicinal chemistry. Current Medicinal Chemistry is an essential journal for every medicinal chemist who wishes to be kept informed and up-to-date with the latest and most important developments.

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