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1.  Phenolic Diterpenoid Derivatives as Anti-Influenza A Virus Agents 
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters  2015;6(3):355-358.
A series of diterpenoid derivatives based on podocarpic acid were synthesized and evaluated as anti-influenza A virus agents. Several of the novel podocarpic acid derivatives exhibited nanomolar activities against an H1N1 influenza A virus (A/Puerto Rico/8/34) that was resistant to two anti-influenza drugs, oseltamivir and amantadine. This class of compounds inhibits the influenza virus by targeting the viral hemagglutinin-mediated membrane fusion. These results indicated that podocarpic acid derivatives may serve as potential drug candidates to fight drug-resistant influenza A virus infections.
doi:10.1021/ml500533x
PMCID: PMC4360168  PMID: 25815159
Influenza A; influenza inhibitor; podocarpic acid; totarol; hemagglutinin
2.  Identification and Synthesis of Quinolizidines with Anti-Influenza A Virus Activity 
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters  2014;5(8):942-946.
Influenza A virus infection causes a contagious respiratory illness that poses a threat to human health. However, there are limited anti-influenza A therapeutics available, which is further compounded by the emergence of drug resistant viruses. In this study, Sophora quinolizidine alkaloids were identified as a new class of anti-influenza A virus agents. Among the tested Sophora alkaloids, dihydroaloperine exhibited the most potent activity with an EC50 of 11.2 μM. The potency of the quinolizidine alkaloids was improved by approximately 5-fold with chemical modifications on the aloperine molecule. These compounds were effective against an H1N1 influenza A virus that was resistant to the two antiflu drugs oseltamivir and amantadine. The identification of the quinolizidine alkaloids as effective and novel anti-influenza A agents may aid in the development of new therapeutics.
doi:10.1021/ml500236n
PMCID: PMC4137370  PMID: 25147619
Influenza; influenza inhibitor; nucleoprotein
3.  New Betulinic Acid Derivatives for Bevirimat-Resistant Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type-1 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2013;56(5):2029-2037.
Bevirimat (1, BVM) is an anti-HIV agent that blocks HIV-1 replication by interfering with HIV-1 Gag-SP1 processing at a late stage of viral maturation. However, clinical trials of 1 have revealed a high baseline drug resistance that is attributed to naturally-occurring polymorphisms in HIV-1 Gag. To overcome the drug resistance, 28 new derivatives of 1 were synthesized and tested against compound 1-resistant (BVM-R) HIV-1 variants. Among them, compound 6 exhibited much improved activity against several HIV-1 strains carrying BVM-R polymorphisms. Compound 6 was at least 20-fold more potent than 1 against the replication of NL4-3/V370A, which carries the most prevalent clinical BVM-R polymorphism in HIV-1 Gag-SP1. Thus, compound 6 merits further development as a potential anti-AIDS clinical trial candidate.
doi:10.1021/jm3016969
PMCID: PMC3600082  PMID: 23379607
Betulinic acid; Bevirimat; HIV-1; Maturation inhibitors; Bevirimat-resistance
4.  Synthesis of Lithocholic Acid Derivatives as Proteasome Regulators 
ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters  2012;3(11):925-930.
Accumulation of aberrant protein aggregates, such as amyloid β peptide (Aβ), due to decreased proteasome activities, might contribute to the neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease. In this study, lithocholic acid derivatives 3α-O-pimeloyl-lithocholic acid methyl ester (2) and its isosteric isomer (6) were found to activate the chymotrypsin-like activity of the proteasome at an EC50 of 7.8 and 4.3 μM, respectively. Replacing the C24 methyl ester in 2 with methylamide resulted in a complete devoid of proteasome activating activity. Epimerizing the C3 substituent from an α to β orientation transformed the activator into a proteasome inhibitor. Unlike the cellular proteasome activator PA28, proteasome activated by 2 was not inhibited by Aβ. Furthermore, 2 potently antagonized the inhibitory effect of Aβ on the proteasome. In summary, compound 2 represents a novel class of small molecules that not only activates the proteasome but also antagonizes the inhibitory effect of Aβ on the proteasome.
doi:10.1021/ml3001962
PMCID: PMC3544189  PMID: 23330053
proteasome activator; lithocholic acid; Alzheimer's disease; amyloid β
5.  Synthesis of Betulinic Acid Derivatives as Entry Inhibitors against HIV-1 and Bevirimat-Resistant HIV-1 Variants 
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.
doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2012.06.080
PMCID: PMC3426442  PMID: 22818973
HIV-1; Entry inhibitor; Maturation inhibitor; Betulinic acid; Berivimat; Berivimat-resistance
6.  Synthesis of Lithocholic Acid Derivatives as Proteasome Regulators 
ACS medicinal chemistry letters  2012;3(11):925-930.
Accumulation of aberrant protein aggregates, such as amyloid beta peptide (Aβ), due to decreased proteasome activities might contribute to the neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease. In this study, lithocholic acid derivatives 3α-O-pimeloyl-lithocholic acid methyl ester (2) and its isosteric isomer (6) were found to activate the chymotrypsin-like activity of the proteasome at an EC50 of 7.8 and 4.3 μM, respectively. Replacing the C24 methyl ester in 2 with methylamide resulted in a complete devoid of proteasome activating activity. Epimerizing the C3 substituent from an alpha to beta orientation transformed the activator into a proteasome inhibitor. Unlike the cellular proteasome activator PA28, proteasome activated by 2 was not inhibited by Aβ. Furthermore, 2 potently antagonized the inhibitory effect of Aβ on the proteasome. In summary, compound 2 represents a novel class of small molecules that not only activates the proteasome but also antagonizes the inhibitory effect of Aβ on the proteasome.
doi:10.1021/ml3001962
PMCID: PMC3544189  PMID: 23330053
proteasome activator; lithocholic acid; Alzheimer's disease; amyloid beta
7.  Synthesis and proteasome inhibition of lithocholic acid derivatives 
A new class of proteasome inhibitors was synthesized using lithocholic acid as a scaffold. Modification at the C-3 position of lithocholic acid with a series of acid acyl groups yielded compounds with a range of potency on proteasome inhibition. Among them, the phenylene diacetic acid hemiester derivative (13) displayed the most potent proteasome inhibition with IC50 = 1.9 μM. Enzyme kinetic analysis indicates that these lithocholic acid derivatives are non-competitive inhibitors of the proteasome.
doi:10.1016/j.bmcl.2011.02.041
PMCID: PMC3072167  PMID: 21388808
Lithocholic acid; proteasome; proteasome inhibitor
8.  Betulinic Acid Derivatives as Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 2 (HIV-2) Inhibitors 
Journal of medicinal chemistry  2009;52(23):7887-7891.
We previously reported that [[N-[3β-hydroxyl-lup-20(29)-en-28-oyl]-7-aminoheptyl]-carbamoyl]methane (A43D, 4) was a potent HIV-1 entry inhibitor. However, 4 was inactive against HIV-2 virus, suggesting the structural requirements for targeting these two retroviruses are different. In this study, a series of new betulinic acid derivatives were synthesized, and some of them displayed selective anti-HIV-2 activity at nanomolar concentrations. In comparison to compounds with anti-HIV-1 activity, a shorter C-28 side chain is required for optimal anti-HIV-2 activity.
doi:10.1021/jm9004253
PMCID: PMC2788670  PMID: 19526990
Betulinic acid; HIV-2; HIV-1

Results 1-8 (8)