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J Med Chem. 1997 May 9;40(10):1465-74.

Improved P1/P1' substituents for cyclic urea based HIV-1 protease inhibitors: synthesis, structure-activity relationship, and X-ray crystal structure analysis.

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The DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company, Wilmington, Delaware 19880-0500, USA.


We present several novel P1/P1' substituents that can replace the characteristic benzyl P1/P1' moiety of the cyclic urea based HIV protease inhibitor series. These substituents typically provide 5-10-fold improvements in binding affinity compared to the unsubstituted benzyl analogs. The best substituent was the 3,4-(ethylenedioxy)benzyl group. Proper balancing of the molecule's lipophilicity facilitated the transfer of this improved binding affinity into a superior cellular antiviral activity profile. Several analogs were evaluated further for protein binding and resistance liabilities. Compound 18 (IC90 = 8.7 nM) was chosen for oral bioavailability studies based on its log P and solubility profile. A 10 mg/kg dose in dogs provided modest bioavailability with Cmax = 0.22 microg/mL. X-ray crystallographic analysis of two analogs revealed several interesting features responsible for the 3,4-(ethylenedioxy)benzyl-substituted analog's potency: (1) Comparing the two complexes revealed two distinct binding modes for each P1/P1' substituent; (2) The ethylenedioxy moieties are within 3.6 A of Pro 81 providing additional van der Waals contacts missing from the parent structure; (3) The enzyme's Arg 8 side chain moves away from the P1 substituent to accommodate the increased steric volume while maintaining a favorable hydrogen bond distance between the para oxygen substituent and the guanidine NH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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