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SB 203580

Catalog No.: GC13595

SB 203580 (SB 203580) is a selective and ATP-competitive p38 MAPK inhibitor with IC50s of 50 nM and 500 nM for SAPK2a/p38 and SAPK2b/p38β2, respectively.

SB 203580 Chemical Structure

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10mM (in 1mL DMSO)
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Sample solution is provided at 25 µL, 10mM.

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Cell experiment [1]:

Cell lines

MDA-MB-231 human breast cancer cell line

Preparation Method

Cells were treated at the logarithmic phase of the growth with various doses of SB 203580 (0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 µM) for 24 h

Reaction Conditions

0.1, 0.5, 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100 µM for 24 h


SB 203580 did not cause significant cytotoxicity on human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cell line at low concentrations (0.1-10 µM) as compared to vehicle-treated (0.5% DMSO) control cells. However, the cytotoxic effects of both inhibitors were observed with higher concentrations of 25, 50 and 100 µM..

Animal experiment [2]:

Animal models

Male Balb/c mice

Preparation Method

Treatments with 2% DMSO alone or SB 203580 dissolved in 2% DMSO were given 1 h before and 1 h and 24 h after DENV infection intravenously. The volume of all injections was 0.4 ml. At 7 days after infection, the mice were euthanized with an overdose intraperitoneal injection of sodium pentobarbital anesthesia.

Dosage form

5 mg/kg/d for 7 days, infection intravenously


After the DENV-infected mice were treated with SB 203580, their liver AST levels were significantly reduced, but the changes in ALT were failed to reach statistical significance


[1]: Duzgun SA, Yerlikaya A, Zeren S, Bayhan Z, Okur E, Boyaci I. Differential effects of p38 MAP kinase inhibitors SB 203580 and SB202190 on growth and migration of human MDA-MB-231 cancer cell line. Cytotechnology. 2017;69(4):711-24.
[2]: Sreekanth GP, Chuncharunee A, Sirimontaporn A, Panaampon J, Noisakran S, Yenchitsomanus PT, et al. SB 203580 modulates p38 MAPK signaling and Dengue virus-induced liver injury by reducing MAPKAPK2, HSP27, and ATF2 phosphorylation. PLoS One. 2016;11:e0149486.


SB 203580 is a specific inhibitor of p38-MAPK (Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase) pathway [1,2]. SB 203580 inhibits p38 kinase in a manner competitive with ATP with a Ki of 21 nm [2].

SB 203580 inhibit the proliferation of human breast cancer cell line MDA-MB-231 with the IC50 value of was 85.1 µM [3]. SB 203580 inhibited IL-10 production by monocytic WEHI 274.3 cells expressing WT-p38α MAPK in a dose-dependent manner with greater than 95% inhibition at 5 µm and with an IC50 of 0.1µM [4]. IL-2-induced proliferation of primary human T cells, murine CT6 T cells, or BAF F7 B cells is prevented by the p38 MAP kinase inhibitor SB 203580 with an IC50 of 3-5µM [5].

SB-203580 demonstrated moderate to high clearance in all species tested in vivo, with non-linear elimination observed in the rat at plasma concentrations > 1000ng ml -1. Although good solution bioavailability was observed in non-rodents (78% in dog, 32% in monkey), lower and more variable bioavailability was observed in the rat and mouse (3-48%) [6]. SB 203580 treatment significantly improve the white blood cell (WBC) and platelet counts decreased significantly in the DENV-infected mice, suggesting leucopenia and thrombocytopenia, respectively [7].

[1]. Barancik M, Bohacova V, Kvackajova J, Hudecova S, Krizanova O, Breier A: SB 203580, a specific inhibitor of p38-MAPK pathway, is a new reversal agent of P-glycoprotein-mediated multidrug resistance. Eur J Pharm Sci. 2001, 14: 29-36. 10.1016/S0928-0987(01)00139-7.
[2]. Peter R. Young, Megan M. McLaughlin, Sanjay Kumar, et al. Pyridinyl Imidazole Inhibitors of p38 Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase Bind in the ATP Site. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 1997, 272(18): 12116-12121.
[3]. Duzgun SA, Yerlikaya A, Zeren S, Bayhan Z, Okur E, Boyaci I. Differential effects of p38 MAP kinase inhibitors SB 203580 and SB202190 on growth and migration of human MDA-MB-231 cancer cell line. Cytotechnology. 2017;69(4):711-24.
[4]. Guo, X., R.E. Gerl, and J.W. Schrader. 2003. Defining the involvement of p38alpha MAPK in the production of anti- and proinflammatory cytokines using an SB 203580-resistant form of the kinase. J. Biol. Chem. 278:22237-22242.
[5]. Lali, F. V., Hunt, A. E., Turner, S. J., and Foxwell, B. M. The pyridinyl imidazole inhibitor SB 203580 blocks phosphoinositide-dependent protein kinase activity, protein kinase B phosphorylation, and retinoblastoma hyperphosphorylation in interleukin-2-stimulated T cells independently of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. J. Biol. Chem.,275: 7395-7402,?2000
[6]. Ward KW, Prokscht JW, Azzaranot LM, et al. Preclinical pharmacokinetics of SB-203580, a potent inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase. Xenobiotica 2001; 31: 783-97
[7]. Sreekanth GP, Chuncharunee A, Sirimontaporn A, Panaampon J, Noisakran S, Yenchitsomanus PT, et al. SB 203580 modulates p38 MAPK signaling and Dengue virus-induced liver injury by reducing MAPKAPK2, HSP27, and ATF2 phosphorylation. PLoS One. 2016;11:e0149486.

Chemical Properties

Cas No. 152121-47-6 SDF
Synonyms N/A
Chemical Name 4-[4-(4-fluorophenyl)-2-(4-methylsulfinylphenyl)-1H-imidazol-5-yl]pyridine
Canonical SMILES CS(=O)C1=CC=C(C=C1)C2=NC(=C(N2)C3=CC=NC=C3)C4=CC=C(C=C4)F
Formula C21H16FN3OS M.Wt 377.44
Solubility ≥ 18.872mg/mL in DMSO, ≥ 3.28 mg/mL in EtOH with ultrasonic Storage Desiccate at 4°C
General tips For obtaining a higher solubility , please warm the tube at 37 ℃ and shake it in the ultrasonic bath for a while.Stock solution can be stored below -20℃ for several months.
Shipping Condition Evaluation sample solution : ship with blue ice
All other available size: ship with RT , or blue ice upon request

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Research Update

Effect of SB 203580 on the activity of c-Raf in vitro and in vivo

Oncogene1999 Mar 25;18(12):2047-54.PMID: 10321729DOI: 10.1038/sj.onc.1202603

The inhibition of SAPK2a/p38 (a mitogen activated protein (MAP) kinase family member) by SB 203580 depends on the presence of threonine at residue 106. Nearly all other protein kinases are insensitive to this drug because a more bulky residue occupies this site (Eyers et al., 1998). Raf is one of the few protein kinases that possesses threonine at this position, and we show that SB 203580 inhibits c-Raf with an IC50 of 2 microM in vitro. However, SB 203580 does not suppress either growth factor or phorbol ester-induced activation of the classical MAP kinase cascade in mammalian cells. One of the reasons for this is that SB 203580 also triggers a remarkable activation of c-Raf in vivo (when measured in the absence of the drug). The SB 203580-induced activation of c-Raf occurs without any increase in the GTP-loading of Ras, is not prevented by inhibitors of the MAPK cascade, protein kinase C or phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase, and is not triggered by the binding of this drug to SAPK2a/p38. The paradoxical activation of c-Raf by SB 203580 (and by another structurally unrelated c-Raf inhibitor) suggests that inhibitors of the kinase activity of c-Raf may not be effective as anti-cancer drugs.

SB 203580, an inhibitor of p38 MAPK, abolishes infarct-limiting effect of ischemic preconditioning in isolated rabbit hearts

Basic Res Cardiol2000 Dec;95(6):466-71.PMID: 11192367DOI: 10.1007/s003950070022

There is debate concerning the involvement of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) in ischemic preconditioning (PC). At the center of the controversy are data obtained after administration of SB 203580, a specific inhibitor of p38 MAPK. Whereas several studies have reported that SB 203580 abolishes the cardioprotective effect of PC, others claim that this compound is actually cardioprotective against ischemia. Many of these latter observations have been made in isolated myocardial cells. Accordingly the present study was designed to test the effect of SB 203580 in a model of preconditioning in intact rabbit hearts in which infarct size was the end-point. Isolated hearts experienced 30 min of regional ischemia followed by 120 min of reperfusion. Infarct size was measured with triphenyltetrazolium chloride. In control hearts infarction was 30.2 +/- 3.3% of the risk zone. PC with 5 min of global ischemia and 10 min of reperfusion before the 30-min period of ischemia significantly reduced infarct size to 10.2 +/- 2.4% (P < 0.05 vs. control). SB 203580 (2 microM) added to the perfusate for 20 min starting 5 min before the index ischemia totally blocked the protection from PC (27.4 +/- 3.3% infarction). SB 203580 alone had no effect on infarct size (28.6 +/- 4.6% infarction). These results reveal that SB 203580 does not affect infarct size on its own, but selectively blocks preconditioning's anti-infarct effect in the intact rabbit heart.

SB 203580 inhibits p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, nitric oxide production, and inducible nitric oxide synthase in bovine cartilage-derived chondrocytes

J Immunol1998 Jul 1;161(1):467-73.PMID: 9647257DOI: 10.1016/0014-5793(95)00357-f

Nitric oxide (NO) is implicated in a number of inflammatory processes and is an important mediator in animal models of rheumatoid arthritis and in in vitro models of cartilage degradation. The pyridinyl imidazole SB 203580 inhibits p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase in vitro, blocks proinflammatory cytokine production in vitro and in vivo, and is effective in animal models of arthritis. The purpose of this study was to determine whether SB 203580 could inhibit p38 MAP kinase activity, NO production, and inducible NO synthase (iNOS) in IL-1 stimulated bovine articular cartilage/chondrocyte cultures. The results indicated that SB 203580 inhibited both IL-1 stimulated p38 MAP kinase activity in isolated chondrocytes and NO production in bovine chondrocytes and cartilage explants with an IC50 value of approximately 1 microM. To inhibit NO production, SB 203580 had to be present in cartilage explant cultures during the first 8 h of IL-1 stimulation, and activity was lost when it was added 24 h following IL-1. SB 203580 did not inhibit iNOS activity, as measured by the conversion of arginine to citrulline, when added directly to cultures where the enzyme had already been induced, but had to be present during the induction period. Using a 372-bp probe for bovine iNOS we demonstrated inhibition of IL-1-induced mRNA by SB 203580 at both 4 and 24 h following IL-1 treatment. The iNOS mRNA levels were consistent with NO levels in 24-h cell culture supernatants of the IL-1-stimulated bovine chondrocytes used to obtain the RNA.

SB 203580 is a specific inhibitor of a MAP kinase homologue which is stimulated by cellular stresses and interleukin-1

FEBS Lett1995 May 8;364(2):229-33.PMID: 7750577DOI: 10.1016/0014-5793(95)00357-f

A class of pyridinyl imidazoles inhibit the MAP kinase homologue, termed here reactivating kinase (RK) [Lee et al. (1994) Nature 372, 739-746]. We now show that one of these compounds (SB 203580) inhibits RK in vitro (IC50 = 0.6 microM), suppresses the activation of MAPKAP kinase-2 and prevents the phosphorylation of heat shock protein (HSP) 27 in response to interleukin-1, cellular stresses and bacterial endotoxin in vivo. These results establish that MAPKAP kinase-2 is a physiological RK substrate, and that HSP27 is phosphorylated by MAPKAP kinase-2 in vivo. The specificity of SB 203580 was indicated by its failure to inhibit 12 other protein kinases in vitro, and by its lack of effect on the activation of RK kinase and other MAP kinase cascades in vivo. We suggest that SB 203580 will be useful for identifying other physiological roles and targets of RK and MAPKAP kinase-2.

SB 203580, an inhibitor of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase, enhances constitutive apoptosis of cytokine-deprived human eosinophils

J Pharmacol Exp Ther1999 Aug;290(2):621-8.PMID: 10411570DOI: 10.1042/0264-6021:3510095

The role of p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase, and extracellular-regulated protein kinase -1 and -2 in regulating constitutive apoptosis and interleukin (IL)-5-induced survival of human eosinophils have been investigated. Two populations of donors were identified whose eosinophils, in the absence of exogenous cytokines, underwent apoptosis at different rates. Eosinophils were thus arbitrarily classified as either "fast"- or "slow"-dying cells, where greater or less than 15% of the cells were apoptotic at 2 days, respectively. The selective p38 MAP kinase inhibitor, SB 203580, increased constitutive eosinophil apoptosis in both populations (EC(50) approximately 2 microM) as evinced from morphological analysis, flow cytometry, and DNA laddering. The ability of SB 203580 to kill eosinophils was not due to nonspecific toxicity or through the inhibition of prostanoid or leukotriene production. Exposure of eosinophils to IL-5, at a concentration (10 pM) that enhanced survival maximally, abolished SB 203580-induced apoptosis. In contrast PD 098059, which selectively blocks MAP kinase kinase (MEK) 1, did not affect apoptosis of fast- or slow-dying eosinophils, or the enhanced survival of cells effected by IL-5. Collectively, these results suggest that: 1) the basal activity of p38 MAP kinase may regulate the survival of cytokine-deprived eosinophils through inhibition of apoptosis, 2) the enhancement of eosinophil survival effected by IL-5 is mediated by a mechanism(s) divorced from the activation of p38 MAP kinase, and 3) neither spontaneous eosinophil apoptosis nor their enhanced survival by IL-5 involves the activation of MEK-1.


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