Selected Publications

Academic Article

Year Title Altmetric
2017 Pyrimidine metabolism in schistosomes: A comparison with other parasites and the search for potential chemotherapeutic targets 2017
2015 Kinetic mechanism of Toxoplasma gondii adenosine kinase and the highly efficient utilization of adenosine 2015
2014 Isolation and substrate specificity of an adenine nucleoside phosphorylase from adult Schistosoma mansoniMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology.  194:44-47. 2014
2014 Nucleoside kinases in adult Schistosoma mansoni: Phosphorylation of pyrimidine nucleosidesMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology.  194:53-55. 2014
2013 Effect of mimetic CDK9 inhibitors on HIV-1-activated transcriptionJournal of Molecular Biology.  425:812-829. 2013
2012 Potent combination therapy for human breast tumors with high doses of 5-fluorouracil: Remission and lack of host toxicityCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.  69:1449-1455. 2012
2010 Paracrine stimulation of endothelial cell motility and angiogenesis by platelet-derived deoxyribose-1-phosphate 2010
2010 Carbocyclic 6-benzylthioinosine analogues as subversive substrates of Toxoplasma gondii adenosine kinase: Biological activities and selective toxicitiesBiochemical Pharmacology.  80:955-963. 2010
2010 Structure-activity relationships of carbocyclic 6-benzylthioinosine analogues as subversive substrates of Toxoplasma gondii adenosine kinaseBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry.  18:3403-3412. 2010
2008 7-Deaza-6-benzylthioinosine analogues as subversive substrate of Toxoplasma gondii adenosine kinase: Activities and selective toxicitiesBiochemical Pharmacology.  76:958-966. 2008
2008 Structure-activity relationships of 7-deaza-6-benzylthioinosine analogues as ligands of Toxoplasma gondii adenosine kinaseJournal of Medicinal Chemistry.  51:3934-3945. 2008
2008 Suppression of thymidine phosphorylase expression by promoter methylation in human cancer cells lacking enzyme activityCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.  62:85-96. 2008
2008 Uridine protects cortical neurons from glucose deprivation-induced death: Possible role of uridine phosphorylaseJournal of Neurotrauma.  25:695-707. 2008
2007 Synthesis, biological evaluation and molecular modeling studies of N6-benzyladenosine analogues as potential anti-toxoplasma agentsBiochemical Pharmacology.  73:1558-1572. 2007
2007 Adenosine metabolism in Toxoplasma gondii: Potential targets for chemotherapyCurrent Pharmaceutical Design.  13:581-597. 2007
2007 Editorial: Potential targets for the rational design of antiparasitic drugsCurrent Pharmaceutical Design.  13:553-554. 2007
2006 Modulation of 5-fluorouracil host-toxicity and chemotherapeutic efficacy against human colon tumors by 5-(phenylthio)acyclouridine, a uridine phosphorylase inhibitorCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.  58:692-698. 2006
2006 Uridine prevents the glucose deprivation-induced death of immunostimulated astrocytes via the action of uridine phosphorylase.Neuroscience Research.  56:111-118. 2006
2005 6-Benzylthioinosine analogues: Promising anti-toxoplasmic agents as inhibitors of the mammalian nucleoside transporter ENT1 (es)Biochemical Pharmacology.  71:69-73. 2005
2005 5-(Phenylthio)acyclouridine: A powerful enhancer of oral uridine bioavailability: Relevance to chemotherapy with 5-fluorouracil and other uridine rescue regimensCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.  55:541-551. 2005
2005 6-Benzylthioinosine analogues as subversive substrate of Toxoplasma gondii adenosine kinase: Activities and selective toxicitiesBiochemical Pharmacology.  69:1409-1419. 2005
2004 Synthesis, Biological Activity and Molecular Modeling of 6-Benzylthioinosine Analogues as Subversive Substrates of Toxoplasma gondii Adenosine KinaseJournal of Medicinal Chemistry.  47:1987-1996. 2004
2003 Uptake of nitrobenzylthioinosine and purine β-L-nucleosides by intracellular Toxoplasma gondiiAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.  47:3247-3251. 2003
2002 Trends in the design of nucleoside analogues as anti-HIV drugsCurrent Pharmaceutical Design.  8:581-593. 2002
2001 Synthesis of carbocyclic orotidine analogs as potential orotidinedecarboxylase inhibitors 2001
2001 Antiviral activity and intracellular metabolism of bis(tButyISATE) phosphotriester of β-L-2′,3′dideoxyadenosine, a potent inhibitor of HIV and HBV replicationAntiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy.  12:99-108. 2001
2001 Enhancement of the bioavailability of oral uridine by coadministration of 5-(phenylthio)acyclouridine, a uridine phosphorylase inhibitor: Implications for uridine rescue regimens in chemotherapyCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.  48:389-397. 2001
2001 Modulation of the pharmacokinetics of endogenous plasma uridine by 5-(phenylthio)acyclouridine, a uridine phosphorylase inhibitor: Implications for chemotherapyCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.  48:145-150. 2001
2000 5-Phenylthioacyclouridine: A potent and specific inhibitor of uridine phosphorylaseBiochemical Pharmacology.  60:851-856. 2000
2000 Effect of administration of 5-(phenylselenenyl)acyclouridine, an inhibitor of uridine phosphorylase, on the anti-tumor efficacy of 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine against murine colon tumor C26-10Biochemical Pharmacology.  60:687-692. 2000
2000 Modulation of 5-fluorouracil host toxicity by 5- (benzyloxybenzyl)barbituric acid acyclonucleoside, a uridine phosphorylase inhibitor, and 2',3',5'-tri-O-acetyluridine, a prodrug of uridineBiochemical Pharmacology.  60:427-431. 2000
2000 Intracellular metabolism of β-L-2',3'-dideoxyadenosine: Relevance to its limited antiviral activityAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.  44:853-858. 2000
2000 Effect of 5-(phenylselenenyl)acyclouridine, an inhibitor of uridine phosphorylase, on plasma concentration of uridine released from 2', 3', 5'-tri-O-acetyluridine, a prodrug of uridine: Relevance to uridine rescue in chemotherapyCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.  46:235-240. 2000
2000 Modulation of plasma uridine concentration by 5- (phenylselenenyl)acyclouridine, an inhibitor of uridine phosphorylase: Relevance to chemotherapyCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.  45:351-361. 2000
1999 The adenosine transporter of Toxoplasma gondii. Identification by insertional mutagenesis, cloning, and recombinant expressionJournal of Biological Chemistry.  274:35255-35261. 1999
1999 Pyrimidine nucleobase ligands of orotate phosphoribosyltransferase from toxoplasma gondiiBiochemical Pharmacology.  58:1457-1466. 1999
1999 Insertional tagging of at least two loci associated with resistance to adenine arabinoside in Toxoplasma gondii, and cloning of the adenosine kinase locusMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology.  103:1-14. 1999
1999 Uridine phosphorylase inhibitors: Chemical modification of benzyloxybenzyl-barbituric acid and its effects on UrdPase inhibitionBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters.  9:1477-1480. 1999
1999 Metabolism and selective toxicity of 6-nitrobenzylthioinosine in Toxoplasma gondiiAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.  43:2437-2443. 1999
1996 5-(m-Benzyloxybenzyl)barbituric acid acyclonucleoside, a uridine phosphorylase inhibitor, and 2′,3′,5′-tri-O-acetyluridine, a prodrug of uridine, as modulators of plasma uridine concentration: Implications for chemotherapyBiochemical Pharmacology.  51:1601-1611. 1996
1996 Effects of modifications in the pentose moiety and conformational changes on the binding of nucleoside ligands to uridine phosphorylase from Toxoplasma gondiiBiochemical Pharmacology.  51:1687-1700. 1996
1995 Structure-activity relationships for the binding of ligands to xanthine or guanine phosphoribosyltransferase from Toxoplasma gondiiBiochemical Pharmacology.  50:1685-1693. 1995
1995 Structure-activity relationship for the binding of nucleoside ligands to adenosine kinase from Toxoplasma gondiiBiochemical Pharmacology.  49:1501-1512. 1995
1995 Enhancement of 5-Fluoro-2′-deoxyuridine Antitumor Efficacy by the Uridine Phosphorylase Inhibitor 5-(Benzyloxybenzyl)barbituric Acid AcyclonucleosideCancer Research.  55:1092-1098. 1995
1995 Effects of 5-benzylacyclouridine, an inhibitor of uridine phosphorylase, on the pharmacokinetics of uridine in rhesus monkeys: implications for chemotherapyCancer Chemotherapy and Pharmacology.  37:14-22. 1995
1994 Potentiation of 5-Fluorouracil Efficacy by the Dihydrouracil Dehydrogenase Inhibitor, 5-BenzyloxybenzyluracilCancer Research.  54:5166-5170. 1994
1993 5-Benzylbarbituric acid derivatives, potent and specific inhibitors of uridine phosphorylaseBiochemical Pharmacology.  46:1273-1283. 1993
1993 Circadian rhythm of orotate phosphoribosyltransferase, pyrimidine nucleoside phosphorylases and dihydrouracil dehydrogenase in mouse liver. Possible relevance to chemotherapy with 5-fluoropyrimidinesBiochemical Pharmacology.  45:667-673. 1993
1993 Differences in Activities and Substrate Specificity of Human and Murine Pyrimidine Nucleoside Phosphorylases: Implications for Chemotherapy with 5-FluoropyrimidinesCancer Research.  53:3687-3693. 1993
1993 Phenylselenenyl- and Phenylthio-Substituted Pyrimidines as Inhibitors of Dihydrouracil Dehydrogenase and Uridine PhosphorylaseJournal of Medicinal Chemistry.  36:4250-4254. 1993
1993 Synthesis of a new class of uridine phosphorylase inhibitors 1993
1991 Inhibition of fluoropyrimidine catabolism by benzyloxybenzyluracil. Possible relevance to regional chemotherapyBiochemical Pharmacology.  41:1887-1893. 1991
1991 Efficacy of combination therapy with tubercidin and nitrobenzylthioinosine 5'- monophosphate against chronic and advanced stages of schistosomiasisBiochemical Pharmacology.  41:815-820. 1991
1990 Circadian rhythm of hepatic uridine phosphorylase activity and plasma concentration of uridine in miceBiochemical Pharmacology.  40:2479-2485. 1990
1990 Pyrimidine salvage pathways in adult Schistosoma mansoniInternational Journal for Parasitology.  20:37-44. 1990
1989 Structure-activity relationship of ligands of dihydrouracil dehydrogenase from mouse liverBiochemical Pharmacology.  38:1471-1480. 1989
1989 Prevention for tubercidin host toxicity by nitrobenzylthioinosine 5'-monophosphate for the treatment of schistosomiasisAntimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.  33:824-827. 1989
1988 Synthesis of 5-benzyl and 5-benzyloxybenzyl 2,2'-anhydroudridines and related nucleoside analogs as inhibitors of uridine phosphorylase 1988
1988 Effect of the N-glycosidic bond conformation and modifications in the pentose moiety on the binding of nucleoside ligands to uridine phosphorylaseMolecular Pharmacology.  34:104-110. 1988
1988 Uridine phosphorylase from Schistosoma mansoniJournal of Biological Chemistry.  263:6081-6086. 1988
1987 Treatment of schistosomiasis by purine nucleoside analogues in combination with nucleoside transport inhibitorsBiochemical Pharmacology.  36:3815-3821. 1987
1987 New analogues of benzylacyclouridines, specific and potent inhibitors of uridine phosphorylase from human and mouse liversBiochemical Pharmacology.  36:2195-2201. 1987
1987 Metabolism of adenosine analogues by Schistosoma mansoni and the effect of nucleoside transport inhibitorsBiochemical Pharmacology.  36:1099-1106. 1987
1987 Effects of N,N-dimethylformamide and sodium butyrate on enzymes of pyrimidine metabolism in cultured human tumor cellsLeukemia Research.  11:855-861. 1987
1986 Inhibition of uridine phosphorylase from Escherichia coli by benzylacyclouridinesBiochemical Pharmacology.  35:3853-3855. 1986
1985 Combination therapy of Schistosoma japonicum by tubercidin and nitrobenzylthioinosine 5′-monophosphateBiochemical Pharmacology.  34:3921-3923. 1985
1985 Enzymes off Uracil Catabolism in Normal and Neoplastic Human TissuesCancer Research.  45:5405-5412. 1985
1985 Kinetic Studies of Thymidine Phosphorylase from Mouse LiverBiochemistry.  24:6799-6807. 1985
1985 Nucleotidase activities of human peripheral lymphocytesBiochemical Pharmacology.  34:3061-3070. 1985
1984 Inhibition of Nucleoside Transport in Murine Lymphoma L5178Y Cells and Human Erythrocytes by the Uridine Phosphorylase Inhibitors 5-Benzylacyclouridine and 5-BenzyloxybenzylacyclouridineCancer Research.  44:3744-3748. 1984
1984 Structure-activity relationship of pyrimidine base analogs as ligands of orotate phosphoribosyltransferaseBiochemical Pharmacology.  33:2383-2395. 1984
1984 Potentiation of 5-Fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine Antineoplastic Activity by the Uridine Phosphorylase Inhibitors Benzylacyclouridine and BenzyloxybenzylacyclouridineCancer Research.  44:1852-1856. 1984
1984 Enzymes of uridine 5′-monophosphate biosynthesis in Schistosoma mansoniMolecular and Biochemical Parasitology.  12:153-171. 1984
1984 Synthesis and Biological Activity of Hydroxymethyl Analogs of 5-Benzylacyclouridine and 5-Benzylckybenzyiacyclogridine 1984
1983 Structure-activity relationship of ligands of the pyrimidine nucleoside phosphorylasesBiochemical Pharmacology.  32:399-415. 1983
1982 5-Benzylacyclouridine and 5-benzyloxybenzylacyclouridine, potent inhibitors of uridine phosphorylaseBiochemical Pharmacology.  31:1857-1861. 1982
1981 Pyrimidine acyclonucleosides, inhibitors of uridine phosphorylaseBiochemical Pharmacology.  30:2097-2101. 1981
1981 A simple radioisotopic assay for nucleoside kinases employing alumina for separation of nucleosides and nucleotidesAnalytical Biochemistry.  111:67-71. 1981
1980 A genetic and dietary study of the physiology of pyrimidine synthesis in Drosophila melanogasterJournal of Insect Physiology.  26:735-740. 1980
1980 Studies on the utilization of dietary thymidine and thymine by Drosophila melanogaster larvaeJournal of Insect Physiology.  26:775-780. 1980
1977 Survival of Drosophila melanogaster larvae on defined medium supplemented with naturally occurring nucleosides and nucleic acid basesJournal of Insect Physiology.  23:327-331. 1977
1974 Biology of 5-fluoro-2′-deoxyuridine sensitivity of Drosophila melanogaster larvaeJournal of Insect Physiology.  20:1481-1490. 1974


Year Title Altmetric
2007 Adenosine Metabolism in Toxoplasma gondii: Potential Targets for Chemotherapy.  581-597. 2007
2007 Editorial, Potential Targets for the Rational Design of Antiparasitic Drugs.  553-554. 2007
2003 Potential Chemotherapeutic Targets in the Purine Metabolism of Parasites.  283-309. 2003
2002 Current Trends in Nucleoside Analogues as Anti HIV-Drugs.  581-593. 2002
2002 Purine Metabolism in Parasites: Potential Targets for Chemotherapy.  377-416. 2002
1992 Chemotherapy of Schistosomiasis.  212-216. 1992
1990 Novel Pharmacologic Approaches for the Treatment of AIDS and Potential Use of Uridine Phosphorylase Inhibitors.  63-73. 1990

Research Overview

  • Dr. el Kouni's laboratory is actively participating in wide range of studies, involving pyrimidine and purine metabolism and drug action. His research is in two major areas.

    The first is of studies on a detailed investigation of key enzymes of pyrimidine metabolism, mainly uridine phosphorylase and thymidine phosphorylase. His laboratory was responsible for detailed studies on these two enzymes and the development of a novel class of uridine phosphorylase inhibitors which have potentiative effects with clinically important antitumor (e.g. 5-fluorouracil and 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine) and anti-AIDS (e.g. AZT) agents. He has been awarded 4 patents for the composition and use of these inhibitors. One of these inhibitors is currently in Phase I clinical trials and a second in pre-clinical trials.

    The usefulness of uridine phosphorylase inhibitors designed by Dr. el Kouni's group has been established in the field of experimental chemotherapy of cancer and AIDS by various laboratories including his. These inhibitors were shown to enhance the efficacy of 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine against human tumors in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, they were shown to elevate the concentration and prolong the half-life of uridine in the plasma, as well as increase the salvage of uridine by various tissues. Therefore, these inhibitors were used to protect against or rescue from host-toxicity of anticancer (i.e. 5-fluorouracil) and anti-HIV (i.e. AZT) drugs, the toxicities of which were shown to be antagonized by administration of exogenous uridine or similar nucleosides.

    In this respect, uridine phosphorylase inhibitors can substitute, totally or partially, for the "uridine rescue regimens" in treating cancer, viral, and other diseases. uridine phosphorylase inhibitors alone or in combination with low concentrations of uridine can maintain adequate uridine concentration for a long enough time to rescue selectively the normal or uninfected cells from drug toxicity, without having to suffer from the toxic side effects (e.g. phlebitis, pyrogenic reactions, changes in body temperature and diarrhea) observed with the high concentration of uridine required to achieve the rescuing or protective effects in the absence of the inhibitor. The use of uridine phosphorylase inhibitors in manipulating uridine pool is not limited to the treatment of cancer or AIDS but can also be extended to treat other pathological and physiological disorders, where administration of uridine has been shown to be useful. Such disorders are quite numerous and include CNS disorders (e.g., cerebrovascular disorders, convulsions, etc.), sleep promotion, muscle performance, liver disease, cardiac damage, etc.

    Dr. el Kouni's laboratory has also established the existence of circadian rhythm in several enzymes of pyrimidine metabolism, including uridine phosphorylase. The circadian rhythm of uridine phosphorylase was the opposite of that of plasma uridine levels and toxicity of 5-fluoro-2'-deoxyuridine. These results emphasize the importance of the time of administration of this important anti-cancer drug.

    The other major area of Dr. el Kouni's research is application of his knowledge of purine and pyrimidine metabolism to the development of new therapeutic approaches for the treatment of schistosomiasis, toxoplasmosis and other parasitic diseases. Schistosomiasis ranks second behind malaria in prevalence as a human disease as it afflicts 200 million people in many parts of the world. Toxoplasmosis is the most commonly recognized of opportunistic infection of the CNS in immunocompromised patients such as those suffering from AIDS. Dr. el Kouni is currently directing a systematic study of purine and pyrimidine metabolism in Toxoplasma gondii with the objective of identifying differences from mammalian metabolism that may be exploited for new chemotherapeutic approaches.
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy Level Degree in Genetics, University of Alberta 1977
  • Master of Pharmacy in Clinical, Hospital, and Managed Care Pharmacy, Alexandria University 1968
  • Full Name

  • Mahmoud H. H. el Kouni
  • Fax

  • 205-934-8240