3,4-Dihydroxy-5-nitrobenzaldehyde (DHNB) is a potent inhibitor of xanthine oxidase: a potential therapeutic agent for treatment of hyperuricemia and gout.Biochem Pharmacol. 2013 Nov 01; 86(9):1328-37.BP
Hyperuricemia, excess of uric acid in the blood, is a clinical problem that causes gout and is also considered a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The enzyme xanthine oxidase (XO) produces uric acid during the purine metabolism; therefore, discovering novel XO inhibitors is an important strategy to develop an effective therapy for hyperuricemia and gout. We found that 3,4-dihydroxy-5-nitrobenzaldehyde (DHNB), a derivative of the natural substance protocatechuic aldehyde, potently inhibited XO activity with an IC₅₀ value of 3 μM. DHNB inhibited XO activity in a time-dependent manner, which was similar to that of allopurinol, a clinical XO inhibitory drug. DHNB displayed potent mixed-type inhibition of the activity of XO, and showed an additive effect with allopurinol at the low concentration. Structure-activity relationship studies of DHNB indicated that the aldehyde moiety, the catechol moiety, and nitration at C-5 were required for XO inhibition. DHNB interacted with the molybdenum center of XO and was slowly converted to its carboxylic acid at a rate of 10⁻¹⁰ mol/L/s. In addition, DHNB directly scavenged free radical DPPH and ROS, including ONOO⁻ and HOCl. DHNB effectively reduced serum uric acid levels in allantoxanamide-induced hyperuricemic mice. Furthermore, mice orally given a large dose (500 mg/kg) of DHNB did not show any side effects, while 42% of allopurinol (500 mg/kg)-treated mice died and their offspring lost their fur. Thus, DHNB could be an outstanding candidate for a novel XO inhibitory drug that has potent activity and low toxicity, as well as antioxidant activity and a distinct chemical structure from allopurinol.