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COX-2 Selective Inhibitors, Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibition and Anticancer Properties of Sulfonamides Belonging to This Class of Pharmacological Agents

[ Vol. 4 , Issue. 6 ]


Claudiu T. Supuran, Angela Casini, Antonio Mastrolorenzo and Andrea Scozzafava   Pages 625 - 632 ( 8 )


The sulfonamides constitute an important class of drugs, with several types of pharmacological agents possessing antibacterial, anti-carbonic anhydrase, diuretic, hypoglycaemic, antithyroid, protease inhibitory and anticancer activity among others. A recently developed class of pharmacological agents incorporating primary sulfamoyl moieties in their molecule is constituted by the COX-2 selective inhibitors, with at least two clinically used drugs, celecoxib and valdecoxib. Another drug of this class, rofecoxib, does not contain sulfonamide moieties, but the isosteric and isoelectronic methylsulfone group. It was recently shown that the sulfonamide COX-2 selective inhibitors (but not the methylsulfone ones) also act as nanomolar inhibitors of several isozymes of the metallo-enzyme carbonic anhydrase (CA), some of which are strongly involved in tumourigenesis. In consequence, the potent anticancer effects of the sulfonamide COX-2 selective inhibitors and the much weaker such effects of rofecoxib, reported ultimately by many researchers, may be explained by the contribution of CA inhibition to such processes in addition to COX-2 inhibition.


COX-2, CA inhibition, methylsulfone, metallo-enzyme, carbonic anhydrase, tumourigenesis


Università degli Studi diFirenze, Dipartimento di Chimica, Laboratorio di Chimica Bioinorganica,Via della Lastruccia, 3, Rm. 188, I-50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Florence),Italy

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