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Synthesis and Antiviral Evaluation of 6-(Alkyl-heteroaryl)furo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-2(3H)-one Nucleosides and Analogues with Ethynyl, Ethenyl, and Ethyl Spacers at C6 of the Furopyrimidine Core

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posted on 2007-08-09, 00:00 authored by Morris J. Robins, Ireneusz Nowak, Vivek K. Rajwanshi, Karl Miranda, John F. Cannon, Matt A. Peterson, Graciela Andrei, Robert Snoeck, Erik De Clercq, Jan Balzarini
Sonogashira coupling strategies were employed to synthesize new furo[2,3-d]pyrimidin-2(3H)-one (FuPyrm) 2‘-deoxynucleoside analogues. Partial or complete reduction of ethyne-linked compounds afforded ethenyl- and ethyl-linked derivatives. Levels of inhibition of varicella-zoster virus (VZV), human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a broad range of other DNA and RNA viruses, and several cancer cell lines were evaluated in cell cultures. The anti-VZV potency decreased with increasing rigidity of the side chain at C6 of the FuPyrm ring in the order dec-1-yn-1-yl < dec-1-en-1-yl < decan-1-yl. In contrast, compounds with a rigid ethynyl spacer between C6 of the FuPyrm ring and a 4-alkylphenyl moiety were more potent inhibitors of VZV than the corresponding derivatives with an ethyl spacer. Replacement of the phenyl moiety in 6-(4-alkylphenyl) derivatives with a pyridine ring (in either regioisomeric orientation) gave analogues with increased solubility in methanol but reduced anti-VZV potency, and replacement with a pyrimidine ring reduced the anti-VZV activity even further. The pyridine-ring-containing analogues were ∼20-fold more potent inhibitors of VZV than acyclovir but were ∼6-fold less potent than BVDU and ∼60-fold weaker than the most active 6-(4-pentylphenyl)-substituted prototype.