• Adeniji A. Uddin M, Zang T, Tamae D, Wangtrakuldee P, Marnett L, Penning T. Discovery of (R)-2-(6-Methoxynaphthalen-2-yl)butanoic Acid as a Potent and Selective Aldo-keto Reductase 1C3 Inhibitor Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. American Chemical Society; 2016 Aug;16(59). 7431-7444. PMID: 27486833 [PubMed].


Type 5 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, aldo-keto reductase 1C3 (AKR1C3) converts Δ(4)-androstene-3,17-dione and 5α-androstane-3,17-dione to testosterone (T) and 5α-dihydrotestosterone, respectively, in castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). In CRPC, AKR1C3 is implicated in drug resistance, and enzalutamide drug resistance can be surmounted by indomethacin a potent inhibitor of AKR1C3. We examined a series of naproxen analogues and find that (R)-2-(6-methoxynaphthalen-2-yl)butanoic acid (in which the methyl group of R-naproxen was replaced by an ethyl group) acts as a potent AKR1C3 inhibitor that displays selectivity for AKR1C3 over other AKR1C enzymes. This compound was devoid of inhibitory activity on COX isozymes and blocked AKR1C3 mediated production of T and induction of PSA in LNCaP-AKR1C3 cells as a model of a CRPC cell line. R-Profens are substrate selective COX-2 inhibitors and block the oxygenation of endocannabinoids and in the context of advanced prostate cancer R-profens could inhibit intratumoral androgen synthesis and act as analgesics for metastatic disease.