Identification of adenine-N9-(methoxy)ethyl-β-bisphosphonate as NPP1 inhibitor attenuates NPPase activity in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes

Molhm Nassir, Uri Arad, Sang Yong Lee, Shani Journo, Salahuddin Mirza, Christian Renn, Herbert Zimmermann, Julie Pelletier, Jean Sévigny, Christa E. Müller, Bilha Fischer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Overproduction of extracellular diphosphate due to hydrolysis of ATP by NPP1 leads to pathological calcium diphosphate (pyrophosphate) dihydrate deposition (CPPD) in cartilage, resulting in a degenerative joint disease that today lacks a cure. Here, we targeted the identification of novel NPP1 inhibitors as potential therapeutic agents for CPPD deposition disease. Specifically, we synthesized novel analogs of AMP (NPP1 reaction product) and ADP (NPP1 inhibitor). These derivatives incorporate several chemical modifications of the natural nucleotides including (1) a methylene group replacing the Pα,β-bridging oxygen atom to provide metabolic resistance, (2) sulfonate group(s) replacing phosphonate(s) to improve binding to NPP1’s catalytic zinc ions, (3) an acyclic nucleotide analog to allow flexible binding in the NPP1 catalytic site, and (4) a benzimidazole base replacing adenine. Among the investigated compounds, adenine-N9-(methoxy)ethyl-β-bisphosphonate, 10, was identified as an NPP1 inhibitor (Ki 16.3 μM vs. the artificial substrate p-nitrophenyl thymidine-5′-monophosphate (p-Nph-5′-TMP), and 9.60 μM vs. the natural substrate, ATP). Compound 10 was selective for NPP1 vs. human NPP3, human CD39, and tissue non-specific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP), but also inhibited human CD73 (Ki 12.6 μM). Thus, 10 is a dual NPP1/CD73 inhibitor, which could not only be of interest for treating CPPD deposition disease and calcific aortic valve disease but may also be considered for the immunotherapy of cancer. Compound 10 proved to be a promising inhibitor, which almost completely reduces NPPase activity in human osteoarthritic chondrocytes at a concentration of 100 μM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-263
Number of pages17
JournalPurinergic Signalling
Issue number2
StatePublished - 15 Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, Springer Nature B.V.


  • ADP analogs
  • AMP analogs
  • Acyclic nucleotide
  • Calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD)
  • Ecto-nucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase1 (NPP1)
  • Human chondrocytes


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