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Beilstein J Org Chem. 2012;8:705-11. Epub 2012 May 8.

Synthesis and antiviral activities of spacer-linked 1-thioglucuronide analogues of glycyrrhizin.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences-Vienna, Muthgasse 18, A-1190 Vienna, Austria.


The influenza virus infection remains a significant threat to public health and the increase of antiviral resistance to available drugs generates an urgent need for new antiviral compounds. Starting from the natural, antivirally active compound glycyrrhizin, spacer-bridged derivatives were generated with improved antiviral activity against the influenza A virus infection. Simplified analogues of the triterpene saponin glycyrrhizin containing 1-thio-β-D-glucuronic acid residues have been prepared in good yields by alkylation of 3-amino and 3-thio derivatives of glycyrrhetinic acid with a 2-iodoethyl 1-thio-β-D-glucopyranosiduronate derivative. The spacer-connected 3-amino derivatives were further transformed into N-acetylated and N-succinylated derivatives. The deprotected compounds containing these carboxylic acid appendices mimic the glycon part of glycyrrhizin as well as the hemisuccinate derivative of glycyrrhetinic acid, carbenoxolone. Antiviral activities of the compounds were determined in a biological test based on influenza A virus-infected cells, wherein the 3-(2-thioethyl)-N-acetylamino- and 3-(2-thioethyl)-thio-linked glucuronide derivatives were effective inhibitors with IC(50) values as low as 54 µM.


antiviral activity; carbenoxolone; glycyrrhizin; influenza A virus; thioglycoside; triterpene

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