The 5-lipoxygenase inhibitor RF-22c potently suppresses leukotriene biosynthesis in cellulo and blocks bronchoconstriction and inflammation in vivo.
5-Lipoxygenase (5-LO) catalyzes the first two steps in leukotriene (LT) biosynthesis. Because LTs play pivotal roles in allergy and inflammation, 5-LO represents a valuable target for anti-inflammatory drugs. Here, we investigated the molecular mechanism, the pharmacological profile, and the in vivo effectiveness of the novel 1,2-benzoquinone-featured 5-LO inhibitor RF-22c. Compound RF-22c potently inhibited 5-LO product synthesis in neutrophils and monocytes (IC50⩾22nM) and in cell-free assays (IC50⩾140nM) without affecting 12/15-LOs, cyclooxygenase (COX)-1/2, or arachidonic acid release, in a specific and reversible manner, supported by molecular docking data. Antioxidant or iron-chelating properties were not evident for RF-22c and 5-LO-regulatory cofactors like Ca(2+) mobilization, ERK-1/2 activation, and 5-LO nuclear membrane translocation and interaction with 5-LO-activating protein (FLAP) were unaffected. RF-22c (0.1mg/kg; i.p.) impaired (I) bronchoconstriction in ovalbumin-sensitized mice challenged with acetylcholine, (II) exudate formation in carrageenan-induced paw edema, and (III) zymosan-induced leukocyte infiltration in air pouches. Taken together, RF-22c is a highly selective and potent 5-LO inhibitor in intact human leukocytes with pronounced effectiveness in different models of inflammation that warrants further preclinical analysis of this agent as anti-inflammatory drug.