Suramin and suramin analogues strongly inhibit both nucleotide interaction with the nucleotide-binding site of granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) and bioactivity of the molecule as assessed by competition photoaffinity labeling and cell proliferation assay, respectively. The half-maximal inhibition of cell proliferation by suramin occurs at 68 ± 2.5 µm; three suramin analogues achieved comparable activity. The degree of competitive inhibition of nucleotide-binding by these compounds and the inhibition of GM-CSF bioactivity are correlated such that the compounds show similar rank-order by both of these methods. The strong interaction of suramin and related compounds with the nucleotide-binding site may mimic nucleotide-mediated inhibition of GM-CSF bioactivity and may be an important mechanism by which suramin acts as a pharmacological anti-growth factor agent.


This work is supported by a Merit Review grant of the Department of Veteran Affairs (M. D.) and NIH Grant GM35766 (B. H.).

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