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J Med Chem. 1995 Sep 1;38(18):3617-23.

Peptidomimetic inhibitors of herpes simplex virus ribonucleotide reductase: a new class of antiviral agents.

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  • 1Bio-Méga/Boehringer Ingelheim Research Inc., Laval, Québec, Canada.


We have been investigating a new class of antiviral compounds effective against herpes simplex virus (HSV) in vitro and in vivo. Antiviral activity results from inhibition of HSV ribonucleotide reductase (RR). The inhibitors are designed as mimics of the RR small subunit C-terminus, a region essential for RR subunit association and consequently enzymatic activity. Inhibition results from specific binding of the inhibitor to the HSV RR large subunit thereby preventing subunit association. This report details the structure--activity studies that lead to the indentification of BILD 1263, a potent inhibitor of HSV RR subunit association (IC50, 0.2 nM) that also inhibits the replication of HSV types 1 and 2 in cell culture (EC50, 3 and 4 microM) and reduces the severity of HSV-1-induced keratitis in a murine ocular model. The discovery of inhibitors with in vitro antiviral results from a combination of improving inhibitor potency in a RR binding assay and modifying inhibitor physicochemical properties. The importance and possible role of the new structural modifications introduced into this inhibitor series is discussed.

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