Synthesis and evaluation of the anti-inflammatory properties of selenium-derivatives of celecoxib

Chem Biol Interact. 2010 Dec 5;188(3):446-56. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2010.09.021. Epub 2010 Sep 29.


Celecoxib is a selective cyclooxygenase (COX)-2 inhibitor used to treat inflammation, while selenium is known to down-regulate the transcription of COX-2 and other pro-inflammatory genes. To expand the anti-inflammatory property, wherein celecoxib could inhibit pro-inflammatory gene expression at extremely low doses, we incorporated selenium (Se) into two Se-derivatives of celecoxib, namely; selenocoxib-2 and selenocoxib-3. In vitro kinetic assays of the inhibition of purified human COX-2 activity by these compounds indicated that celecoxib and selenocoxib-3 had identical K(I) values of 2.3 and 2.4μM; while selenocoxib-2 had a lower K(I) of 0.72μM. Furthermore, selenocoxib-2 inhibited lipopolysaccharide-induced activation of NF-κB leading to the down-regulation of expression of COX-2, iNOS, and TNFα more effectively than selenocoxib-3 and celecoxib in RAW264.7 macrophages and murine bone marrow-derived macrophages. Studies with rat liver microsomes followed by UPLC-MS-MS analysis indicated the formation of selenenylsulfide conjugates of selenocoxib-2 with N-acetylcysteine. Selenocoxib-2 was found to release minor amounts of Se that was effectively inhibited by the CYP inhibitor, sulphaphenazole. While these studies suggest that selenocoxib-2, but not celecoxib and selenocoxib-3, targets upstream events in the NF-κB signaling axis, the ability to effectively suppress NF-κB activation independent of cellular selenoprotein synthesis opens possibilities for a new generation of COX-2 inhibitors with significant and broader anti-inflammatory potential.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemical synthesis*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / pharmacology*
  • Bone Marrow Cells / cytology
  • Celecoxib
  • Cell Line
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 / metabolism
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / chemical synthesis*
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Enzymologic / drug effects
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lipopolysaccharides / pharmacology
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / drug effects
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Pyrazoles / chemical synthesis*
  • Pyrazoles / chemistry
  • Pyrazoles / pharmacology*
  • Rats
  • Selenium / chemistry*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Sulfonamides / chemical synthesis*
  • Sulfonamides / chemistry
  • Sulfonamides / pharmacology*


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Cyclooxygenase 2 Inhibitors
  • Lipopolysaccharides
  • NF-kappa B
  • Pyrazoles
  • Sulfonamides
  • glutathione peroxidase GPX1
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Cyclooxygenase 2
  • Selenium
  • Celecoxib