The application of phosphoramidate protide technology to acyclovir confers anti-HIV inhibition.
ABSTRACT: Recently, it has been reported that phosphorylated acyclovir (ACV) inhibits human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) reverse transcriptase in a cell-free system. To deliver phosphorylated ACV inside cells, we designed ACV monophosphorylated derivatives using ProTide technology. We found that the L-alanine derived ProTides show anti-HIV activity at noncytotoxic concentrations; ester and aryl variation was tolerated. ACV ProTides with other amino acids, other than L-phenylalanine, showed no detectable activity against HIV in cell culture. The inhibitory activity of the prodrugs against herpes simplex virus (HSV) types -1 and -2 and thymidine kinase-deficient HSV-1 revealed different structure-activity relationships but was again consistent with successful nucleoside kinase bypass. Enzymatic and molecular modeling studies have been performed in order to better understand the antiviral behavior of these compounds. ProTides showing diminished carboxypeptidase lability translated to poor anti-HIV agents and vice versa, so the assay became predictive.
Project description:Ribavirin is a nucleoside analogue with broad antiviral activity. Here we report the synthesis and biological evaluation of novel ribavirin ProTides designed to deliver the bioactive ribavirin monophosphate into cells. Some of the compounds display activity similar to the parent nucleoside against a range of viruses. Enzymatic, cell lysate and preliminary modeling studies have been performed to investigate the lack of enhancement of potency by the ProTides, and these indicate a failure at the final, amino acid cleavage step in the ProTide activation process, leading to inefficient release of the nucleoside monophosphate.
Project description:Following our findings on the anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) activity of acyclovir (ACV) phosphate prodrugs, we herein report the ProTide approach applied to a series of acyclic nucleosides aimed at the identification of novel and selective antiviral, in particular anti-HIV agents. Acyclic nucleoside analogues used in this study were identified through a virtual screening using HIV-reverse transcriptase (RT), adenylate/guanylate kinase, and human DNA polymerase ?. A total of 39 new phosphate prodrugs were synthesized and evaluated against HIV-1 (in vitro and ex vivo human tonsillar tissue system) and human herpes viruses. Several ProTide compounds showed substantial potency against HIV-1 at low micromolar range while the parent nucleosides were not effective. Also, pronounced inhibition of herpesvirus replication was observed. A carboxypeptidase-mediated hydrolysis study was performed for a selection of compounds to assess the formation of putative metabolites and support the biological activity observed.
Project description:The ProTide technology is a prodrug approach developed for the efficient intracellular delivery of nucleoside analogue monophosphates and monophosphonates. In this approach, the hydroxyls of the monophosphate or monophosphonate groups are masked by an aromatic group and an amino acid ester moiety, which are enzymatically cleaved-off inside cells to release the free nucleoside monophosphate and monophosphonate species. Structurally, this represents the current end-point of an extensive medicinal chemistry endeavor that spans almost three decades. It started from the masking of nucleoside monophosphate and monophosphonate groups by simple alkyl groups and evolved into the sophisticated ProTide system as known today. This technology has been extensively employed in drug discovery, and it has already led to the discovery of two FDA-approved (antiviral) ProTides. In this work, we will review the development of the ProTide technology, its application in drug discovery, and its role in the improvement of drug delivery and efficacy.
Project description:Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) is the most common cause of genital ulcer disease and is a cofactor for HIV-1 acquisition and transmission. We analyzed specimens from three separate phase III trials of acyclovir (ACV) for prevention of HIV-1 acquisition and transmission to determine if failure of ACV to interrupt HIV acquisition and transmission was associated with genotypic ACV resistance. Acyclovir (400 mg twice daily) or placebo was provided to HSV-2-infected persons at risk of HIV-1 infection in the Mwanza and HPTN 039 trials and to persons dually infected with HSV-2 and HIV-1 who had an HIV-negative partner in the Partners in Prevention study. We extracted HSV DNA from genital ulcer swabs or cervicovaginal lavage fluids from 68 samples obtained from 64 participants randomized to ACV and sequenced the HSV-2 UL23 gene encoding thymidine kinase. The UL23 sequences were compared with published and unpublished data. Variants were observed in 38/1,128 (3.4%) nucleotide positions in the UL23 open reading frame, with 58% of these encoding amino acid changes. No deletions, insertions, or mutations known to be associated with resistance were detected. Thirty-one of the variants (81.5%) are newly reported, 15 of which code for amino acid changes. Overall, UL23 is highly polymorphic compared to other loci in HSV-2, but no drug resistance mutations were detected that could explain the failure to reduce HIV incidence or to prevent HIV-1 transmission in these studies.
Project description:Multiple clinical trials have demonstrated that herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) suppressive therapy using acyclovir (ACV) or valacyclovir in HIV-1/HSV-2-infected persons increased the patient's survival and decreased the HIV-1 load. It has been shown that the incorporation of ACV-monophosphate into the nascent DNA chain instead of dGMP results in the termination of viral DNA elongation and directly inhibits laboratory strains of HIV-1. We evaluated here the anti-HIV activity of ACV against primary HIV-1 isolates of different clades and coreceptor specificity and against viral isolates resistant to currently used drugs, including zidovudine, lamivudine, nevirapine, a combination of nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs), a fusion inhibitor, and two protease inhibitors. We found that, at clinically relevant concentrations, ACV inhibits the replication of these isolates in human tissues infected ex vivo. Moreover, addition of ribavirin, an antiviral capable of depleting the pool of intracellular dGTP, potentiated the ACV-mediated HIV-1 suppression. These data warrant further clinical investigations of the benefits of using inexpensive and safe ACV alone or in combination with other drugs against HIV-1, especially to complement or delay highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) initiation in low-resource settings.
Project description:Anti-herpes simplex virus (HSV) drug acyclovir (ACV) is phosphorylated by the viral thymidine kinase (TK), but not the cellular TK. Phosphorylated ACV inhibits cellular DNA synthesis and kills the infected cells. We hypothesize that ACV monophosphate (ACVP), which is an activated metabolite of ACV, should be efficient in killing cells independent of HSV-TK. If so, ACVP should be a cytotoxic agent if properly delivered to the cancer cells. The Lipid/Calcium/Phosphate (LCP) nanoparticles (NPs) with a membrane/core structure were used to encapsulate ACVP to facilitate the targeted delivery of ACVP to the tumor. The LCP NPs showed entrapment efficiency of ~70%, the nano-scaled particle size and positive zeta potential. Moreover, ACVP-loaded LCP NPs (A-LCP NPs) exhibited concentration-dependent cytotoxicity against H460 cells and increased S-phase arrest. More importantly, a significant reduction of the tumor volume over 4 days following administration (p<0.05-0.005) of A-LCP NPs, suggests excellent in vivo efficacy. Whereas, two free drugs (ACV and ACVP) and blank LCP NPs showed little or no therapeutic effect. It was also found that the high efficacy of A-LCP NPs was associated with the ability to induce dramatic apoptosis of the tumor cells, as well as significantly inhibit tumor cell proliferation and cell cycle progression. In conclusion, with the help of LCP NPs, monophosphorylation modification of ACV can successfully modify an HSV-TK-dependent antiviral drug into an anti-tumor drug.
Project description:For most viruses, there is a need for antimicrobials that target unique viral molecular properties. Acyclovir (ACV) is one such drug. It is activated into a human herpesvirus (HHV) DNA polymerase inhibitor exclusively by HHV kinases and, thus, does not suppress other viruses. Here, we show that ACV suppresses HIV-1 in HHV-coinfected human tissues, but not in HHV-free tissue or cell cultures. However, addition of HHV-6-infected cells renders these cultures sensitive to anti-HIV ACV activity. We hypothesized that such HIV suppression requires ACV phosphorylation by HHV kinases. Indeed, an ACV monophosphorylated prodrug bypasses the HHV requirement for HIV suppression. Furthermore, phosphorylated ACV directly inhibits HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT), terminating DNA chain elongation, and can trap RT at the termination site. These data suggest that ACV anti-HIV-1 activity may contribute to the response of HIV/HHV-coinfected patients to ACV treatment and could guide strategies for the development of new HIV-1 RT inhibitors.
Project description:Vaginal microbicides may play an important role in protecting women from HIV infection. A strong synergy between HSV and HIV has been observed, and epidemiological studies demonstrate that HSV infection increases the risk of HIV acquisition. Incorporation of the antiretroviral tenofovir (TFV) along with the antiherpetic acyclovir (ACV) into combination intravaginal rings (IVRs) for sustained mucosal delivery of both compounds could lead to increased microbicide product adherence and efficacy compared with conventional vaginal formulations. A novel, dual-protection "pod IVR" platform developed in-house and delivering ACV and TFV was evaluated in rabbit and sheep models. The devices were safe and exhibited sustained release of both drugs independently and at controlled rates over the 28-day studies. Daily release rates were estimated based on residual drug content of the used devices: rabbits, 343 ± 335 ?g day(-1) (ACV) and 321 ± 207 ?g day(-1) (TFV); sheep, 174 ± 14 ?g day(-1) (ACV) and 185 ± 34 ?g day(-1) (TFV). Mean drug levels in sheep vaginal samples were as follows: secretions, 5.25 ± 7.31 ?g ml(-1) (ACV) and 20.6 ± 16.2 ?g ml(-1) (TFV); cervicovaginal lavage fluid, 118 ± 113 ng ml(-1) (ACV) and 191 ± 125 ng ml(-1) (TFV); tissue, 173 ng g(-1) (ACV) and 93 ng g(-1) (TFV). An in vitro-in vivo correlation was established for both drugs and will allow the development of future formulations delivering target levels for prophylaxis and therapy. These data suggest that the IVR based on the pod design has potential in the prevention of transmission of HIV-1 and other sexually transmitted pathogens.
Project description:Although acyclovir (ACV) has proven to be of value in the therapy of certain herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections, there is a need for more effective therapies, particularly for serious infections in neonates and immunocompromised individuals, where resistance to this drug can be problematic. CMX001 is an orally bioavailable lipid conjugate of cidofovir that is substantially less nephrotoxic than the parent drug and has excellent antiviral activity against all the human herpesviruses. This compound retains full antiviral activity against ACV-resistant laboratory and clinical isolates. The combined efficacy of CMX001 and ACV was evaluated in a new real-time PCR combination assay, which demonstrated that the combination synergistically inhibited the replication of HSV in cell culture. This was also confirmed in murine models of HSV infection, where the combined therapy with these two drugs synergistically reduced mortality. These results suggest that CMX001 may be effective in the treatment of ACV-resistant HSV infections and as an adjunct therapy in individuals with suboptimal responses to ACV.
Project description:Zika virus (ZIKV), an emerging flavivirus that causes neurodevelopmental impairment to fetuses and has been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome continues to threaten global health due to the absence of targeted prophylaxis or treatment. Nucleoside analogues are good examples of efficient anti-viral inhibitors, and prodrug strategies using phosphate masking groups (ProTides) have been employed to improve the bioavailability of ribonucleoside analogues. Here, we synthesized and tested a small library of 13 ProTides against ZIKV in human neural stem cells. Strong activity was observed for 2'-C-methyluridine and 2'-C-ethynyluridine ProTides with an aryloxyl phosphoramidate masking group. Substitution of a 2-(methylthio) ethyl phosphoramidate for the aryloxyl phosphoramidate ProTide group of 2'-C-methyluridine completely abolished antiviral activity of the compound. The aryloxyl phosphoramidate ProTide of 2'-C-methyluridine outperformed the hepatitis C virus (HCV) drug sofosbuvir in suppression of viral titers and protection from cytopathic effect, while the former compound's triphosphate active metabolite was better incorporated by purified ZIKV NS5 polymerase over time. These findings suggest both a nucleobase and ProTide group bias for the anti-ZIKV activity of nucleoside analogue ProTides in a disease-relevant cell model.