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From Naproxen Repurposing to Naproxen Analogues and Their Antiviral Activity against Influenza A Virus

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posted on 20.07.2018, 00:00 by Sébastien Dilly, Aurélien Fotso Fotso, Nathalie Lejal, Gloria Zedda, Mohamad Chebbo, Fryad Rahman, Simon Companys, Hélène C. Bertrand, Jasmina Vidic, Magali Noiray, Marie-Christine Alessi, Bogdan Tarus, Stéphane Quideau, Béatrice Riteau, Anny Slama-Schwok
The nucleoprotein (NP) of influenza A virus (IAV) required for IAV replication is a promising target for new antivirals. We previously identified by in silico screening naproxen being a dual inhibitor of NP and cyclooxygenase COX2, thus combining antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the recently shown strong COX2 antiviral potential makes COX2 inhibition undesirable. Here we designed and synthesized two new series of naproxen analogues called derivatives 2, 3, and 4 targeting highly conserved residues of the RNA binding groove, stabilizing NP monomer without inhibiting COX2. Derivative 2 presented improved antiviral effects in infected cells compared to that of naproxen and afforded a total protection of mice against a lethal viral challenge. Derivative 4 also protected infected cells challenged with circulating 2009-pandemic and oseltamivir-resistant H1N1 virus. This improved antiviral effect likely results from derivatives 2 and 4 inhibiting NP-RNA and NP-polymerase acidic subunit PA N-terminal interactions.