Isobutyl-deoxynyboquinone (IB-DNQ) is a selective substrate for NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase (NQO1), an enzyme overexpressed in many solid tumors. Following activation by NQO1, IB-DNQ participates in a catalytic futile reduction/reoxidation cycle with consequent toxic reactive oxygen species generation within the tumor microenvironment. To elucidate the potential of IB-DNQ to serve as a novel anticancer agent, in vitro studies coupled with in vivo pharmacokinetic and toxicologic investigations in the domestic felid species were conducted to investigate the tractability of IB-DNQ as a translationally applicable anticancer agent. First, using feline oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) as a comparative cancer model, expressions of NQO1 were characterized in not only human, but also feline OSCC tissue microarrays. Second, IB-DNQ mediated cytotoxicity in three immortalized feline OSCC cell lines were studied under dose-dependent and sequential exposure conditions. Third, the feasibility of administering IB-DNQ at doses predicted to achieve cytotoxic plasma concentrations and biologically relevant durations of exposure were investigated through pharmacokinetic and tolerability studies in healthy research felines. Intravenous administration of IB-DNQ at 1.0–2.0 mg/kg achieved peak plasma concentrations and durations of exposure reaching or exceeding predicted in vitro cytotoxic concentrations. Clinical adverse side effects including ptyalism and tachypnea exhibited during and post-IV infusion of IB-DNQ were transient and tolerable. Additionally, IB-DNQ administration did not produce acute or delayed-onset unacceptable hematologic, non-hematologic, or off-target oxidative toxicities. Collectively, the findings reported here within provide important safety and pharmacokinetic data to support the continued development of IB-DNQ as a novel anticancer strategy for NQO1 expressing cancers.
- Comparative oncology
- Feline oral squamous cell carcinoma
- Novel anti-cancer agent
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)