Nitroaryl phosphoramides as novel prodrugs for E. coli nitroreductase activation in enzyme prodrug therapy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • L Hu
  • C Yu
  • Y Jiang
  • J Han
  • Z Li
  • P Browne
  • Paul Race
  • RJ Knox

Colleges, School and Institutes


Cyclic and acyclic nitroaryl phosphoramide mustard analogues were activated by E. coli nitroreductase, an enzyme explored in GDEPT. The more active acyclic 4-nitrobenzyl phosphoramide mustard (7) showed 167 500x selective cytotoxicity toward nitroreductase-expressing V79 cells with an IC(50) as low as 0.4 nM. This is about 100x more active and 27x more selective than CB1954 (1). The superior activity was attributed to its better substrate activity (k(cat)/K(m) 19x better than 1) and/or excellent cytotoxicity of phosphoramide mustard released.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4818-4821
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2003