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J Med Chem. 2013 Nov 14;56(21):8765-80. doi: 10.1021/jm401232v. Epub 2013 Oct 28.

Clicking 3'-azidothymidine into novel potent inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus.

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Center for Drug Design, Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota , Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, United States.


3'-Azidothymidine (AZT) was the first approved antiviral for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Reported efforts in clicking the 3'-azido group of AZT have not yielded 1,2,3-triazoles active against HIV or any other viruses. We report herein the first AZT-derived 1,2,3-triazoles with submicromolar potencies against HIV-1. The observed antiviral activities from the cytopathic effect (CPE) based assay were confirmed through a single replication cycle assay. Structure-activity-relationship (SAR) studies revealed two structural features key to antiviral activity: a bulky aromatic ring and the 1,5-substitution pattern on the triazole. Biochemical analysis of the corresponding triphosphates showed lower ATP-mediated nucleotide excision efficiency compared to AZT, which along with molecular modeling suggests a mechanism of preferred translocation of triazoles into the P-site of HIV reverse transcriptase (RT). This mechanism is corroborated with the observed reduction of fold resistance of the triazole analogue to an AZT-resistant HIV variant (9-fold compared to 56-fold with AZT).

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