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Biochemistry. 2003 Jan 28;42(3):718-27.

Influenza neuraminidase inhibitors: structure-based design of a novel inhibitor series.

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Department of Advanced Technology, Abbott Laboratories, 100 Abbott Park Road, Abbott Park, Illinois 60064-6100, USA.


Combinatorial and structure-based medicinal chemistry strategies were used together to advance a lead compound with an activity of K(i) = 58 microM via a potency enhancement of >70 000-fold to an analogue with an activity of K(i) = 0.8 nM against influenza neuraminidase (A/Tokyo/67). Lead optimization was initiated using molecular modeling and combinatorial chemistry. Protein crystal structures revealed that inconsistent structure-activity relationship (SAR) data resulted from different binding orientations of the inhibitor core five-membered rings from one series to another. Binding modes for a series of compounds showed up to a 180 degrees variation in orientation of the five-membered ring within the active site. Potent analogues were only achieved with chemical series that were observed to bind in the same orientation and yielded consistent SAR. In one series, consistent binding was obtained by an unprecedented occupation of a negatively charged binding pocket by a neutral methyl ester unit. The structural rationale for this novel SAR variation, based on protein crystallographic data, is given.

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