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Non-rigid Diarylmethyl Analogs of Baloxavir as Cap-Dependent Endonuclease Inhibitors of Influenza Viruses

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journal contribution
posted on 17.08.2020, 15:11 by Andrei A. Ivashchenko, Oleg D. Mitkin, Jeremy C. Jones, Alexander V. Nikitin, Angela G. Koryakova, Alexey Ryakhovskiy, Ruben N. Karapetian, Dmitry V. Kravchenko, Vladimir Aladinskiy, Irina A. Leneva, Irina N. Falynskova, Ekaterina A. Glubokova, Elena A. Govorkova, Alexandre V. Ivachtchenko
4-Substituted 2,4-dioxobutanoic acids inhibit influenza virus cap-dependent endonuclease (CEN) activity. Baloxavir marboxil, 4, is approved for treating influenza virus infections. We describe here the synthesis and biological evaluation of active compounds, 5a5g, and their precursors (6a, 6b, 6d, and 6e) with flexible bulky hydrophobic groups instead of the rigid polyheterocyclic moieties. In silico docking confirmed the ability of 5a5g to bind to the active site of influenza A CEN (PDB code: 6FS6) like baloxavir acid, 3. These novel compounds inhibited polymerase complex activity, inhibited virus replication in cells, prevented death in a lethal influenza A virus mouse challenge model, and dramatically lowered viral lung titers. 5a and 5e potently inhibited different influenza genera in vitro. Precursors 6a and 6d demonstrated impressive mouse oral bioavailability with 6a, providing effective in vivo protection. Thus, these novel compounds are potent CEN inhibitors with in vitro and in vivo activity comparable to baloxavir.