Development of Anthraquinone Derivatives as Ectonucleoside Triphosphate Diphosphohydrolase (NTPDase) Inhibitors With Selectivity for NTPDase2 and NTPDase3

Younis Baqi*, Mahmoud Rashed, Laura Schäkel, Enas M. Malik, Julie Pelletier, Jean Sévigny, Amelie Fiene, Christa E. Müller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Ectonucleoside triphosphate diphosphohydrolases (NTPDases) catalyze the hydrolysis of nucleoside tri- and di-phosphates to mono-phosphates. The products are subsequently hydrolyzed by ecto-5′-nucleotidase (ecto-5′-NT) to nucleosides. NTPDase inhibitors have potential as novel drugs, e.g., for the treatment of inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, and cancer. In this context, a series of anthraquinone derivatives structurally related to the anthraquinone dye reactive blue-2 (RB-2) was synthesized and evaluated as inhibitors of human NTPDases utilizing a malachite green assay. We identified several potent and selective inhibitors of human NTPDase2 and -3. Among the most potent NTPDase2 inhibitors were 1-amino-4-(9-phenanthrylamino)-9,10-dioxo-9,10-dihydroanthracene-2-sulfonate (20, PSB-16131, IC50 of 539 nM) and 1-amino-4-(3-chloro-4-phenylsulfanyl)phenylamino-9,10-dioxo-9,10-dihydroanthracene-2-sulfonate (48, PSB-2020, IC50 of 551 nM). The most potent NTPDase3 inhibitors were 1-amino-4-[3-(4,6-dichlorotriazin-2-ylamino)-4-sulfophenylamino]-9,10-dioxo-9,10-dihydroanthracene-2-sulfonate (42, PSB-1011, IC50 of 390 nM) and 1-amino-4-(3-carboxy-4-hydroxyphenylamino)-9,10-dioxo-9,10-dihydroanthracene-2-sulfonate (33, PSB-2046, IC50 of 723 nM). The best NTPDase2 inhibitor 20 showed a non-competitive inhibition type, while the NTPDase3 inhibitor 42 behaved as a mixed-type inhibitor. These potent compounds were found to be selective vs. other NTPDases. They will be useful tools for studying the roles of NTPDase2 and -3 in physiology and under pathological conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1282
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Publication statusPublished - Aug 27 2020


  • anthraquinone
  • CD39
  • inhibitor
  • metalloenzymes
  • neuroinflammation
  • NTPDase2
  • NTPDase3
  • synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

Cite this