Structure, physiological role, and specific inhibitors of human thymidine kinase 2 (TK2): present and future
Pérez-Pérez, María-Jesús × Priego, Eva-María Hernández, Ana-Isabel Familiar, Olga Camarasa, María-José Negri, Ana Gago, Federico Balzarini, Jan #
Medicinal Research Reviews vol:28 issue:5 pages:797-820
Human mitochondrial thymidine kinase (TK2) is a pyrimidine deoxynucleoside kinase (dNK) that catalyzes the phosphorylation of pyrimidine deoxynucleosides to their corresponding deoxynucleoside 5'-monophosphates by gamma-phosphoryl transfer from ATP. In resting cells, TK2 is suggested to play a key role in the mitochondrial salvage pathway to provide pyrimidine nucleotides for mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) synthesis and maintenance. However, recently the physiological role of TK2turned out to have direct clinical relevance as well. Point mutations in the gene encoding TK2 have been correlated to mtDNA disorders in a heterogeneous group of patients suffering from the so-called mtDNA depletion syndrome (MDS). TK2 activity could also be involved in mitochondrial toxicity associated to prolonged treatment with antiviral nucleoside analogues like AZT and FIAU. Therefore, TK2 inhibitors can be considered as valuable tools to unravel the role of TK2 in the maintenance and homeostasis of mitochondrial nucleotide pools and mtDNA, and to clarify the contribution of TK2 activity to mitochondrial toxicity of certain antivirals. Highly selective TK-2 inhibitors having an acyclic nucleoside structure and efficiently discriminating between TK-2 and the closely related TK-1 have already been reported. It is actually unclear whether these agents efficiently reach the inner mitochondrial compartment. In the present review article,structural features of TK2, MDS-related mutations observed in TK2 and their role in MDS will be discussed. Also, an update on novel and selective TK2 inhibitors will be provided. (c) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Med Res Rev.