Betulinic acid, a triterpenoid isolated from the methyl alcohol extract of the leaves of Syzigium claviflorum, was found to have a potent inhibitory activity against human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Betulinic acid derivatives were synthesized to enhance the anti-HIV activity. Among the derivatives, 3-O-(3′,3′-dimethylsuccinyl) betulinic acid, designated YK-FH312, showed the highest activity against HIV-induced cytopathic effects in HIV-1-infected MT-4 cells. To determine the step(s) of HIV replication affected by YK-FH312, a syncytium formation inhibition assay in MOLT-4/HIV-1IIIB and MOLT-4 coculture, a multinuclear-activation-of-galactosidase-indicator (MAGI) assay in MAGI-CCR5 cells, electron microscopic observation, and a time-of-addition assay were performed. In the syncytium formation inhibition assay or in the MAGI assay for de novo infection, the compound did not show inhibitory effects against HIV replication. Conversely, no virions were detected in HIV-1-infected cell cultures treated with YK-FH312 either by electron microscopic observation or by viral yield in the supernatant. In accordance with a p24 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of culture supernatant in the time-of-addition assay, YK-FH312 inhibited virus expression in the supernatant when it was added 18 h postinfection. However, Western blot analysis of the cells in the time-of-addition assay revealed that the production of viral proteins in the cells was not inhibited completely by YK-FH312. These results suggest that YK-FH312 might affect the step(s) of virion assembly and/or budding of virions, and this is a novel mechanism of action of an anti-HIV compound.
Betulinic acid (BA) derivatives can inhibit human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry or maturation depending on side chain modifications. While BA derivatives with antimaturation activity have attracted considerable interest, the anti-HIV-1 profile and molecular mechanism of BA derivatives with anti-HIV-1 entry activity (termed BA entry inhibitors) have not been well defined. In this study, we have found that two BA entry inhibitors, IC9564 and A43D, exhibited a broad spectrum of anti-HIV-1 activity. Both compounds inhibited multiple strains of HIV-1 from clades A, B, and C at submicromolar concentrations. Clade C viruses were more sensitive to the compounds than clade A and B viruses. Interestingly, IC9564 at subinhibitory concentrations could alter the antifusion activities of other entry inhibitors. IC9564 was especially potent in increasing the sensitivity of HIV-1YU2 Env-mediated membrane fusion to the CCR5 inhibitor TAK-779. Results from this study suggest that the V3 loop of gp120 is a critical determinant for the anti-HIV-1 activity of IC9564. IC9564 escape viruses contained mutations near the tip of the V3 loop. Moreover, IC9564 could compete with the binding of V3 monoclonal antibodies 447-52D and 39F. IC9564 also competed with the binding of gp120/CD4 complexes to chemokine receptors. In summary, these results suggest that BA entry inhibitors can potently inhibit a broad spectrum of primary HIV-1 isolates by targeting the V3 loop of gp120.
In a continuing study of potent anti-HIV agents, seventeen 28,30-disubstituted betulinic acid (BA, 1) derivatives, as well as seven novel 3,28-disubstituted BA analogs were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for in vitro antiviral activity. Among them, compound 21 showed an improved solubility and equal anti-HIV potency (EC50: 0.09 μM), when compared to HIV entry inhibitors 3b (IC9564) and 4 (A43-D). Using a cyclic secondary amine to form the C-28 amide bond increased the metabolic stability of the derivatives significantly in pooled human liver microsomes. The most potent compounds 47 and 48 displayed potent anti-HIV activity with EC50 values of 0.007 μM and 0.006 μM, respectively. These results are slightly better than that of bevirimat (2), which is currently in Phase IIb clinical trials. Compounds 47 and 48 should serve as attractive promising leads to develop next generation, metabolically stable, 3,28-disubstituted bifunctional HIV-1 inhibitors as clinical trials candidates.
In our continuing study of triterpene derivatives as potent anti-HIV agents, different C-3 conformationally restricted betulinic acid (BA, 1) derivatives were designed and synthesized in order to explore the conformational space of the C-3 pharmacophore. 3-O-Monomethylsuccinyl- betulinic acid (MSB) analogs were also designed to better understand the contribution of the C-3′ dimethyl group of bevirimat (2), the first-in-class HIV maturation inhibitor, which is currently in phase IIb clinical trials. In addition, another triterpene skeleton, moronic acid (MA, 3) was also employed to study the influence of the backbone and the C-3 modification towards the anti-HIV activity of this compound class. This study enabled us to better understand the structure-activity relationships (SAR) of triterpene-derived anti-HIV agents, and led to the design and synthesis of compound 12 (EC50: 0.0006 μM), which displayed slightly better activity than 2 as a HIV-1 maturation inhibitor.
Betulinic acid derivatives modified at the C28 position are HIV-1entry inhibitors such as compound A43D; however, modified at the C3 position instead of C28 give HIV-1 maturation inhibitor such as bevirimat. Bevirimat exhibited promising pharmacokinetic profiles in clinical trials, but its effectiveness was compromised by the high baseline drug resistance of HIV-1 variants with polymorphism in the putative drug binding site. In an effort to determine whether the viruses with bevirimat resistant polymorphism also altered their sensitivities to the betulinic acid derivatives that inhibit HIV-1 entry, a series of new betulinic acid entry inhibitors were synthesized and tested for their activities against HIV-1 NL4-3 and NL4-3 variants resistant to bevirimat. The results show that the bevirimat resistant viruses were approximately 5- to10-fold more sensitive to three new glutamine ester derivatives (13, 15 and 38) and A43D in an HIV-1 multi-cycle replication assay. In contrast, the wild type NL4-3 and the bevirimat resistant variants were equally sensitive to the HIV-1 RT inhibitor AZT. In addition, these three new compounds markedly improved microsomal stability compared to A43D.
HIV-1; Entry inhibitor; Maturation inhibitor; Betulinic acid; Berivimat; Berivimat-resistance
A class of betulinic acid derivatives was synthesized to target two critical steps in the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication cycle, entry and maturation. Each mechanism of HIV-1 inhibition is distinct from clinically available anti-HIV therapeutics. The viral determinants of the antientry and antimaturation activities are the bridging sheet of HIV-1 gp120 and the P24/p2 cleavage site, respectively.
Betulinic acid is a natural product possessing abundant and favourable biological activity, including anti-cancer, anti-malarial, anti-inflammatory and anti-HIV properties, while causing minimal toxicity to unaffected cells. The full biological potency of betulinic acid cannot be fully unlocked, however, for a number of reasons, a primary one being its limited solubility in aqueous and biologically pertinent organic media. Aiming to improve the water solubility of betulinic acid without disrupting its structurally related bioactivity, we have prepared different ionic derivatives of betulinic acid. Inhibition bioassays on HIV-1 protease-catalysed peptide hydrolysis indicate significantly improved performance resulting from converting the betulinic acid to organic salt form. Indeed, for one particular cholinium-based derivative, its water solubility is improved more than 100 times and the half maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) value (22 μg mL−1) was one-third that of wide-type betulinic acid (60 μg mL−1). These encouraging results advise that additional studies of ionic betulinic acid derivatives as a therapeutic solution against HIV-1 infection are warranted.
Betulinic acid; anti-HIV; ionic liquid; HIV-1 protease; derivative
3-O-3′(or 2′)-methylsuccinyl-betulinic acid (MSB) derivatives were separated by using recycle HPLC. The structures of four isomers were assigned by NMR and asymmetric synthesis. 3-O-3′S-Methylsuccinyl-betulinic acid (3′S-MSB, 4) exhibited potent anti-HIV activity with an EC50 value of 0.0087 μM and a TI value of 6.3×103, which is comparable to the data for bevirimat (DSB, PA-457), a current clinical trials drug that was also derived from betulinic acid. The anti-HIV potency of 4 was slightly better than that of AZT.
The betulinic acid derivative IC9564 is a potent anti-human immunodeficiency virus (anti-HIV) compound that can inhibit both HIV primary isolates and laboratory-adapted strains. However, this compound did not affect the replication of simian immunodeficiency virus and respiratory syncytial virus. Results from a syncytium formation assay indicated that IC9564 blocked HIV type 1 (HIV-1) envelope-mediated membrane fusion. Analysis of a chimeric virus derived from exchanging envelope regions between IC9564-sensitive and IC9564-resistant viruses indicated that regions within gp120 and the N-terminal 25 amino acids (fusion domain) of gp41 are key determinants for the drug sensitivity. By developing a drug-resistant mutant from the NL4-3 virus, two mutations were found within the gp120 region and one was found within the gp41 region. The mutations are G237R and R252K in gp120 and R533A in the fusion domain of gp41. The mutations were reintroduced into the NL4-3 envelope and analyzed for their role in IC9564 resistance. Both of the gp120 mutations contributed to the drug sensitivity. On the contrary, the gp41 mutation (R533A) did not appear to affect the IC9564 sensitivity. These results suggest that HIV-1 gp120 plays a key role in the anti-HIV-1 activity of IC9564.
In a continuing structure-activity relationship study of potent anti-HIV agents, seven new triterpene derivatives were designed, synthesized, and evaluated for in vitro antiviral activity. Among them, moronic acid derivatives 19, 20 and 21 showed significant activity in HIV-1 infected H9 lymphocytes. Compounds 19 and 20 were also evaluated against HIV-1 NL4−3 and drug resistant strains in the MT-4 cell line. Compounds 19 and 20 showed better antiviral profiles than the betulinic acid analog 8 (PA-457), which has successfully completed a Phase IIa clinical trial. Compound 20 showed potent anti-HIV activity with EC50 values of 0.0085 μM against NL4−3, 0.021 μM against PI-R (a multiple protease inhibitor resistant strain), and 0.13 μM against FHR-2 (an HIV strain resistant to 8), respectively. The promising compound 20 has become a new lead for modification, and further development of 20-related compounds as clinical trial candidates is warranted.
Betulinic acid, a natural pentacyclic triterpene acid, presents a diverse mode of biological actions including anti-retroviral, antibacterial, antimalarial and anti-inflammatory activities. The potency of betulinic acid as an inhibitor of human platelet activation was evaluated and its antiplatelet profile against in vitro platelet aggregation, induced by several platelet agonists (Adenosine Diphosphate, Thrombin Receptor Activator Peptide-14 and Arachidonic Acid), was explored. Flow cytometric analysis was performed to examine the effect of betulinic acid on P-selectin membrane expression and PAC-1 binding to activated platelets. Betulinic acid potently inhibits platelet aggregation and also reduced PAC-1 binding and the membrane expression of P-selectin. Principal component analysis was used to screen, on the chemical property space, for potential common pharmacophores of betulinic acid with approved antithrombotic drugs. A common pharmacophore was defined between the NMR derived structure of betulinic acid and prostacyclin agonists (PGI2) and the importance of its carboxylate group in its antiplatelet activity was determined. The present results indicate that betulinic acid has potential use as an antithrombotic compound and suggest that the mechanism underlying the antiplatelet effects of betulinic acid is similar to that of the PGI2 receptor agonists, a hypothesis that reserves further investigation.
betulinic acid; platelet aggregation; ADP; antithrombotics
Triterpene derivatives were analyzed for anti-HIV-1 activity and for cellular toxicity. Betulinic aldehyde, betulinic nitrile, and morolic acid derivatives were identified to have anti-HIV-1 activity. These derivatives inhibit a late step in virus replication, likely virus maturation.
retrovirus; antiviral; antiretroviral; proteolysis; protease
In the present study, a new strategy to link AZT with betulin/betulinic acid (BA) by click chemistry was designed and achieved. This conjugation via a triazole linkage offers a new direction for modification of anti-HIV triterpenes. Click chemistry provides an easy and productive way for linking two molecules, even when one of them is a large natural product. Among the newly synthesized conjugates, compounds 15 and 16 showed potent anti-HIV activity with EC50 values of 0.067 and 0.10 µM, respectively, which are comparable to that of AZT (EC50: 0.10 µM) in the same assay.
Betulin; Betulinic acid; AZT; Anti-HIV; Click chemistry
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope (Env) binding induces proapoptotic signals in CD4+ T cells without a requirement of infection. Defective virus particles, which represent the majority of HIV-1, usually contain a functional Env and therefore represent a potentially significant cause of such CD4+-T-cell loss. We reasoned that an HIV-1 inhibitor that prohibits Env-host cell interactions could block the destructive effects of defective particles. HIV-1 attachment inhibitors (AIs), which potently inhibit Env-CD4 binding and subsequent downstream effects of Env, display low-nanomolar antiapoptotic potency and prevent CD4+-T-cell depletion from mixed lymphocyte cultures, also with low-nanomolar potency. Specific Env amino acid changes that confer resistance to AI antientry activity eliminate AI antiapoptotic effects. We observed that CD4+-T-cell destruction is specific for CXCR4-utilizing HIV-1 strains and that the fusion blocker enfuvirtide inhibits Env-mediated CD4+-T-cell killing but is substantially less potent than AIs. These observations, in conjunction with observed antiapoptotic activities of soluble CD4 and the CXCR4 blocker AMD3100, suggest that this AI activity functions through a mechanism common to AI antientry activity, e.g., prevention of Env conformation changes necessary for specific interactions with cellular factors that facilitate viral entry. Our study suggests that AIs, in addition to having potent antientry activity, could contribute to immune system homeostasis in individuals infected with HIV-1 that can engage CXCR4, thereby mitigating the increased risk of adverse clinical events observed in such individuals on current antiretroviral regimens.
In a continuing study of bevirimat (2), the anti-HIV-maturation clinical trials agent, 28 new betulinic acid (BA, 1) derivatives were designed and synthesized. Among these compounds, 17, with a C-28 MEM ester moiety, and 22, with a C-28 ethyl hexanoate, increased the anti-HIV replication activity compared with 2 by two-fold, while compounds 40–41 and 48–49, with C-28 piperazine or piperidine amide substitutions, increased the activity by three- to fifteen-fold. The best new compound 41 exhibited an anti-HIV IC50 value of 0.0059 μM, compared with 0.087 μM for 2. All of the active compounds showed only anti-maturation effects, as confirmed by TZM-bl assay, in blocking the HIV replication. The results suggest that proper C-28 substitutions can further enhance the anti-maturation activity of 2, without any anti-entry effects. Thus, 41 may serve as a promising new lead for development of anti-AIDS clinical trial candidates.
3-O-(3′,3′-Dimethysuccinyl) betulinic acid (PA-457) has been shown to potently inhibit human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication in culture. In contrast to inhibitors that act upon the viral proteinase, PA-457 appears to block only the final maturational cleavage of p25CA-p2 to p24CA. However, attempts to replicate this effect in vitro using recombinant Gag have failed, leading to the hypothesis that activity is dependent upon the assembly state of Gag. Using a synthesis/assembly system for chimeric HIV type 1 Gag proteins, we have replicated the activity of PA-457 in vitro. The processing of assembled chimeric Gag can be inhibited by the addition of drug with only the final cleavage of p25CA-p2 to p24CA blocked. Consistent with our hypothesis and with previous findings, inhibition appears specific to Gag assembled into an immature capsid-like structure, since synthetic Gag that remains unassembled is properly processed in the presence of the compound. To further analyze the authenticity of the assay, PA-457 was tested in parallel with its inactive parental compound, betulinic acid. Betulinic acid had no effect upon p25 processing in this system. Analysis of a PA-457-resistant mutant, A1V, in this system pointed to more rapid cleavage as a possible mechanism for resistance. However, characterization of additional mutations at the cleavage site and in p2 suggests that resistance does not strictly correlate with the rate of cleavage. With the establishment of an in vitro assay for the detection of PA-457 activity, a more detailed characterization of its mechanism of action will be possible.
A triterpene derived from betulinic acid (RPR103611) blocks human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection and fusion of CD4+ cells with cells expressing HIV-1 envelope proteins (gp120 and gp41), suggesting an effect on virus entry. This compound did not block infection by a subtype D HIV-1 strain (NDK) or cell-cell fusion mediated by the NDK envelope proteins. The genetic basis of drug resistance was therefore addressed by testing envelope chimeras derived from NDK and a drug-sensitive HIV-1 strain (LAI, subtype B). A drug-resistant phenotype was observed for all chimeras bearing the ectodomain of NDK gp41, while the origins of gp120 and of the membrane anchor and cytoplasmic domains of gp41 had no apparent role. The envelope gene of a LAI variant, fully resistant to the antiviral effect of RPR103611, was cloned and sequenced. Its product differed from the parental sequence at two positions in gp41, with changes of arginine 22 to alanine (R22A) and isoleucine 84 to serine (I84S), the gp120 being identical. In the context of LAI gp41, the I84S substitution was sufficient for drug resistance. Therefore, in two different systems, differences in gp41 were associated with sensitivity or resistance to RPR103611. Modifications of gp41 can affect the quaternary structure of gp120 and gp41 and the accessibility of gp120 to antiviral agents such as neutralizing antibodies. However, a direct effect of RPR103611 on a gp41 target must also be envisioned, in agreement with the blocking of apparently late steps of HIV-1 entry. This compound could be a valuable tool for structure-function studies of gp41.
T22, an analog of polyphemusin II (18 amino acid residues), was found to block T-tropic human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry into target cells as a CXCR4 inhibitor. We synthesized T134, a small analog (14 amino acid residues) of T22 with reduced positive charges. T134 exhibited highly potent activity and significantly less cytotoxicity in comparison to that of T22. T134 prevents the anti-CXCR4 monoclonal antibody from binding to peripheral blood mononuclear cells but has no effect on the binding of anti-CCR5 monoclonal antibodies. Since T134 inhibits the binding of stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1) to MT-4 cells, it seems that T134 prevents HIV-1 entry by binding to CXCR4. The bicyclam AMD3100 has also been shown to block HIV-1 entry via CXCR4 but not via CCR5. Both T134 and AMD3100 are CXCR4 antagonists and low-molecular-weight compounds but have different structures. Our results indicate that T134 is active against wild-type T-tropic HIV-1 strains and against AMD3100-resistant strains.
The virally encoded integrase protein is an essential enzyme in the life cycle of the HIV-1 virus and represents an attractive and validated target in the development of therapeutics against HIV infection. Drugs that selectively inhibit this enzyme, when used in combination with inhibitors of reverse transcriptase and protease, are believed to be highly effective in suppressing the viral replication. Among the HIV-1 integrase inhibitors, the β-diketo acids (DKAs) represent a major lead for anti-HIV-1drug development. In this study, novel bifunctional quinolonyl diketo acid derivatives were designed, synthesized and tested for their inhibitory ability against HIV-1 integrase. The compounds are potent inhibitors of integrase activity. Particularly, derivative 8 is a potent IN inhibitor for both steps of the reaction (3′-processing and strand transfer) and exhibits both high antiviral activity against HIV-1 infected cells and low cytotoxicity. Molecular modeling studies provide a plausible mechanism of action, which is consistent with ligand SARs and enzyme photo-crosslinking experiments.
Epiceanothic acid (1) is a naturally occurring, but very rare pentacyclic triterpene with a unique pentacyclic triterpene (PT) structure. An efficient synthesis of 1 starting from betulin (3) has been accomplished in 12 steps with a total yield of 10% in our study. Compound 1 and selected synthetic intermediates were further evaluated as anti-HIV-1 agents, inhibitors of glycogen phosphorylase (GP), and cytotoxic agents. Compound 1 exhibited moderate HIV-1 inhibition. Most importantly, compound 5, with an opened A-ring, showed significant GP inhibitory activity with an IC50 of 0.21 μM, suggesting a potential for development as an anti-diabetic agent. On the other hand, compound 12, with a closed A-ring, showed potent cytotoxicity against A549 and MCF-7 human tumor cell lines, with IC50 values of 0.89 and 0.33 μM, respectively. These results suggest that the A-ring of PTs is an important pharmacophore that could be modified to involve different biological activities.
epiceanothic acid; pentacyclic triterpene; anti-HIV agents; glycogen phosphorylase inhibitors; cytotoxic agents
Tumor, is one of the major reason for human death, due to its widespread occurrence. Betulinic acid derivatives have attracted considerable attention as cancer chemopreventive agents and also as cancer therapeutics. Many of its derivatives inhibit the growth of human cancer cell lines by triggering apoptosis. With this background, we planned to synthesize a series of betulinic acid derivatives to assess their antiproliferation efficacy on human cancer cell lines.
A series of novel betulinic acid derivatives were designed and synthesized as highlighted by the preliminary antitumor evaluation against MGC-803, PC3, A375, Bcap-37 and A431 human cancer cell lines in vitro. The pharmacological results showed that some of the compounds displayed moderate to high levels of antitumor activities with most of new exhibiting higher inhibitory activities compared to BA. The IC50 values of compound 3c on the five cancer cell lines were 2.3, 4.6, 3.3, 3.6, and 4.3 μM, respectively. Subsequent fluorescence staining and flow cytometry analysis (FCM) indicated that compound 3c could induce apoptosis in MGC-803 and PC3 cell lines, and the apoptosis ratios reached the peak (37.38% and 33.74%) after 36 h of treatment at 10 μM.
This study suggests that most of betulinic acid derivatives could inhibit the growth of human cancer cell lines. Furthermore, compound 3c could induce apoptosis of cancer cells.
Two highly potent dihydroalkoxybenzyloxopyrimidine (DABO) derivatives targeting the nonnucleoside inhibitor (NNI) binding site of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) reverse transcriptase (RT) have been designed based on the structure of the NNI binding pocket and tested for anti-HIV activity. Our lead DABO derivative, 5-isopropyl-2-[(methylthiomethyl)thio]-6-(benzyl)-pyrimidin-4-(1H)-one, elicited potent inhibitory activity against purified recombinant HIV RT and abrogated HIV replication in peripheral blood mononuclear cells at nanomolar concentrations (50% inhibitory concentration, <1 nM) but showed no detectable cytotoxicity at concentrations as high as 100 μM.
A series of inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) proteinase containing the 2-aralkyl-amino-substituted statine moiety as a novel transition-state analog was synthesized, with the aim to obtain compounds which combine anti-HIV potency with oral bioavailability. The reduced-size 2-aminobenzylstatine derivative SDZ PRI 053, which contains 2-(S)-amino-3-(R)-hydroxyindane in place of an amino acid amide, is a potent and orally bioavailable inhibitor of HIV-1 replication. The antiviral activity of SDZ PRI 053 was demonstrated in various cell lines, in primary lymphocytes, and in primary monocytes, against laboratory strains as well as clinical HIV-1 isolates (50% effective dose = 0.028 to 0.15 microM). Cell proliferation was impaired only at 100- to 300-fold-higher concentrations. The mechanism of antiviral action of the proteinase inhibitor SDZ PRI 0.53 was demonstrated to be inhibition of gag precursor protein processing. The finding that the inhibitory potency of SDZ PRI 053 in chronic virus infection, determined by p24 release, was considerably lower than that in de novo infection may be explained by the fact that the virus particles produced in the presence of SDZ PRI 053 are about 50-fold less infectious than those from untreated cultures. Upon intravenous administration, half-lives in blood of 100 and 32 min in mice and rats, respectively, were measured. Oral bioavailability of SDZ PRI 053 in rodents was 20 to 60%, depending on the dose. In mice, rats, and dogs, the inhibitor levels after oral administration remained far above the concentrations needed to efficiently block HIV replication in vitro for a prolonged period. This compound is thus a promising candidate for clinical use in HIV disease.
We have found that novel pyridine oxide derivatives are inhibitors of a wide range of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 (HIV-1) and HIV-2 strains in CEM cell cultures. Some of the compounds showed inhibitory activities against recombinant HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT), whereas others were totally inactive against this viral protein in vitro. Partial retention of anti-HIV-1 activity against virus strains that contain a variety of mutations characteristic of those for resistance to nonnucleoside RT inhibitors and a lack of inhibitory activity against recombinant HIV-2 RT suggested that these pyridine oxide derivatives possess a mode of antiviral action independent from HIV RT inhibition. Time-of-addition experiments revealed that these pyridine oxide derivatives interact at a postintegration step in the replication cycle of HIV. Furthermore, it was shown that these compounds are active not only in acutely HIV-1-infected cells but also in chronically HIV-infected cells. A dose-dependent inhibition of virus particle release and viral protein expression was observed upon exposure to the pyridine oxide derivatives. Finally, inhibition of HIV-1 long terminal repeat-mediated green fluorescence protein expression in quantitative transactivation bioassays indicated that the additional target of action of the pyridine oxide derivatives may be located at the level of HIV gene expression.
Fourteen novel conjugates of 3,28-di-O-acylbetulins with AZT were prepared as anti-HIV agents, based on our previously reported potent anti-HIV triterpene leads, including 3-O-acyl and 3,28-di-O-acylbetulins. Nine of the conjugates (49–53, 55, 56, 59, 60) exhibited potent anti-HIV activity at the submicromolar level, with EC50 values ranging from 0.040 to 0.098 µM in HIV-1NL4-3 infected MT-4 cells. These compounds were equipotent or more potent than 3-O-(3',3'-dimethylsuccinyl)betulinic acid (2), which is currently in Phase IIb anti-AIDS clinical trial.
HIV-1; Betulin; AZT; Conjugate