Selenoneine-inspired selenohydantoins with glutathione peroxidase-like activity

Bioorg Med Chem. 2023 Oct 30:94:117479. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2023.117479. Epub 2023 Sep 20.


Chronic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and cardiovascular illness have been linked to a decrease in selenium levels and an increase in oxidative stress. Selenium is an essential trace element that exhibits antioxidant properties, with selenocysteine enzymes like glutathione peroxidase being particularly effective at reducing peroxides. In this study, a series of synthetic organoselenium compounds were synthesized and evaluated for their potential antioxidant activities. The new selenohydantoin molecules were inspired by selenoneine and synthesized using straightforward methods. Their antioxidant potential was evaluated and proven using classical radical scavenging and metal-reducing methods. The selenohydantoin derivatives exhibited glutathione peroxidase-like activity, reducing hydroperoxides. Theoretical calculations using Density Functional Theory (DFT) revealed the selenone isomer to be the only one occurring in solution, with selenolate as a possible tautomeric form in the presence of a basic species. Cytocompatibility assays indicated that the selenohydantoin derivatives were non-toxic to primary human aortic smooth muscle cells, paving the way for further biological evaluations of their antioxidant activity. The results suggest that selenohydantoin derivatives with trifluoro-methyl (-CF3) and chlorine (-Cl) substituents have significant activities and could be potential candidates for further biological trials. These compounds may contribute to the development of effective therapies for chronic diseases such cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Glutathione peroxidase; Human aortic smooth muscle; Redox; Selenium; Selenohydantoins.