Reduction of Sulindac to its active metabolite, sulindac sulfide: assay and role of the methionine sulfoxide reductase system

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Dec 26;312(4):1005-10. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2003.10.203.


Sulindac is a known anti-inflammatory drug that functions by inhibition of cyclooxygenases 1 and 2 (COX). There has been recent interest in Sulindac and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) because of their anti-tumor activity against colorectal cancer. Studies with sulindac have indicated that it may also function as an anti-tumor agent by stimulating apoptosis. Sulindac is a pro-drug, containing a methyl sulfoxide group, that must be reduced to sulindac sulfide to be active as a COX inhibitor. In the present studies we have developed a simple assay to measure sulindac reduction and tested sulindac as a substrate for 6 known members of the methionine sulfoxide reductase (Msr) family that have been identified in Escherichia coli. Only MsrA and a membrane associated Msr can reduce sulindac to the active sulfide. The reduction of sulindac also has been demonstrated in extracts of calf liver, kidney, and brain. Sulindac reductase activity is also present in mitochondria and microsomes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cattle
  • Chromatography / methods
  • Enzyme Activation
  • Escherichia coli / chemistry*
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Kidney / metabolism*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Methionine Sulfoxide Reductases
  • Microsomes / metabolism
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Organ Specificity
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidoreductases / chemistry*
  • Oxidoreductases / classification
  • Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Sulindac / analogs & derivatives*
  • Sulindac / analysis
  • Sulindac / chemistry*
  • Sulindac / metabolism*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Sulindac
  • sulindac sulfide
  • Oxidoreductases
  • Methionine Sulfoxide Reductases
  • methionine sulfoxide reductase