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J Med Chem. 1987 May;30(5):867-71.

1-(2-Deoxy-2-fluoro-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl)-5-ethyluracil. A highly selective antiherpes simplex agent.


The protected nucleoside 1-(2-deoxy-2-fluoro-3,5-di-O-benzoyl-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl)-5-ethylura cil (10) was prepared by condensation of 3,5-dibenzoyl-2-deoxy-2-fluoro-alpha-D-arabinofuranosyl bromide (9) with 2,4-bis-O-(trimethylsilyl)-5-ethyluracil (8). The ratio in this coupling reaction has been raised to 17:1 in favor of the desired beta-anomer. Deprotection by aminolysis gave 1-(2-deoxy-2-fluoro-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl)-5-ethyluracil (FEAU, 1) in 67% isolated yield from the bromo sugar 9. In vitro data show that FEAU has activity against herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 comparable to that of 1-(2-deoxy-2-fluoro-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl)-5-methyluracil (FMAU, 2), 1-(2-deoxy-2-fluoro-beta-D-arabinofuranosyl)-5-iodouracil (FIAU, 3), and acyclovir (ACV, 12). The cellular toxicity of FEAU was found to be much lower than that of the other nucleoside analogues. Biochemical experiments indicate that FEAU has similar affinity toward thymidine kinases encoded by HSV 1 and 2 and a much lower affinity for cellular thymidine kinase than thymidine. The in vivo antiviral effects of FEAU, FMAU, FIAU, and ACV were evaluated against herpes infection in a systemic mouse encephalitis model and a cutaneous guinea pig model. While FEAU showed activity comparable to that of ACV in the systemic infection model, it was superior in the cutaneous herpes infection model.

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