Publication Date



ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science


Metabolically labile prodrugs can experience stark differences in catabolism incurred by the chosen route of administration. This is especially true for phosph(on)ate prodrugs, in which successive promoiety removal transforms a lipophilic molecule into increasingly polar compounds. We previously described a phosphonate inhibitor of enolase (HEX) and its bis-pivaloyloxymethyl ester prodrug (POMHEX) capable of eliciting strong tumor regression in a murine model of enolase 1 (ENO1)-deleted glioblastoma following parenteral administration. Here, we characterize the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of these enolase inhibitors in vitro and in vivo after oral and parenteral administration. In support of the historical function of lipophilic prodrugs, the bis-POM prodrug significantly improves cell permeability of and rapid hydrolysis to the parent phosphonate, resulting in rapid intracellular loading of peripheral blood mononuclear cells in vitro and in vivo. We observe the influence of intracellular trapping in vivo on divergent pharmacokinetic profiles of POMHEX and its metabolites after oral and parenteral administration. This is a clear demonstration of the tissue reservoir effect hypothesized to explain phosph(on)ate prodrug pharmacokinetics but has heretofore not been explicitly demonstrated.


prodrugs, phosphonate, phosphate, glycolysis, cancer, mouse models

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Neurology Commons



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