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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: Oncotarget.

Volume 7, Issue 7, 2016, Pages 7372-7380.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.7058

Copyright © 2016 The Authors


Maintaining thiol homeostasis is an imperative for cancer cell survival in the nutrient-deprived microenvironment of solid tumors. Despite this metabolic vulnerability, a selective approach has yet to be developed to disrupt thiol homeostasis in solid tumors for therapeutic purposes. In this study, we report the identification of 2-mercaptopropionyl glycine disulfide (TTL-315) as a novel antimetabolite that blocks cell survival in a manner conditional on glucose deprivation. In the presence of glucose, TTL-315 lacks cytotoxic effects in normal cells where it is detoxified by reduction to 2-mercaptopropionyl glycine, a compound with known clinical pharmacologic and safety profiles. In several rodent models of aggressive breast, lung and skin cancers, TTL-315 blocked tumor growth and cooperated with the DNA damaging drug cisplatin to trigger tumor regression. Our results offer preclinical proof of concept for TTL-315 as a novel antimetabolite to help selectively eradicate solid tumors by exploiting the glucose-deprived conditions of the tumor microenvironment.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

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