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Anti-Thyroid Drugs and Thyroid Hormone Synthesis:  Effect of Methimazole Derivatives on Peroxidase-Catalyzed Reactions

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journal contribution
posted on 02.11.2005 by Gouriprasanna Roy, G. Mugesh
Syntheses and characterization of the selenium analogue (MSeI) of anti-thyroid drug methimazole and a series of organoselenium compounds bearing N-methylimidazole pharmacophore are described. In contrast to the sulfur compound that exists predominantly in its thione form, the selenium analogue exists in a selenol form, which spontaneously oxidizes in air to produce the corresponding diselenide. The reduction of the diselenide by GSH or NaBH4 affords the biologically active selenol, which effectively inhibits the lactoperoxidase (LPO) activity in vitro. The monoselenides having N-methylimidazole moiety are found to be much less active than the selenol, suggesting that the presence of a selenol moiety is important for the LPO inhibition. The kinetic and mechanistic studies reveal that MSeI inhibits the LPO activity by reducing the H2O2, providing a novel method to reversibly inhibit the enzyme. Although MSeI strongly inhibits LPO, the enzyme's activity can be completely recovered by increasing the H2O2 concentration. On the other hand, the inhibition by methimazole (MMI), the sulfur analogue, cannot be reversed by increasing the H2O2 concentration, leading to a complete inactivation of the enzyme. The reversible inhibition of LPO by some of the selenium derivatives is correlated with their glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activity, and the high GPx activity of the selenium compounds as compared with their sulfur analogues suggests that the selenium derivatives may protect the thyroid gland from oxidative damage.