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Identification of compounds with anti-West Nile Virus activity
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Identification of compounds with anti-West Nile Virus activity


Identification of compounds with anti-West Nile Virus activity



Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 49(6): 2127-2137



ISSN/ISBN: 0022-2623

PMID: 16539402

DOI: 10.1021/jm051229y

The lack of antiviral compounds targeting flaviviruses represents a significant problem in the development of strategies for treating West Nile Virus (WNV), Dengue, and Yellow Fever infections. Using WNV high-throughput screening techniques developed in our laboratories, we report the identification of several small molecule anti-WNV compounds belonging to four different structural classes including pyrazolines, xanthanes, acridines, and quinolines. The initial set of "hits" was further refined using cell viability-cytotoxicity assays to two 1,3,5-triaryl pyrazoline compounds: 1-(4-chlorophenylacetyl)-5-(4-nitrophenyl)-3-(thiophen-2-yl)-4,5-dihydro-1H-pyrazole and 1-benzoyl-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-3-(thiophen-2-yl)-4,5-dihydro-1H-pyrazole. On the basis of their activity and favorable therapeutic indexes, these compounds were identified as viable leads and subjected to additional evaluation using an authentic viral titer reduction assay employing an epidemic strain of WNV. The compounds were further evaluated in a transient replicon reporting system to gain insight into the mechanism of action by identifying the step at which inhibition takes place during viral replication. The results indicate the pyrazolines inhibit RNA synthesis, pointing to viral RNA polymerase, RNA helicase, or other viral replication enzymes as potential targets. Progress was also made in understanding the structural requirements for activity by synthesizing a focused chemical library of substituted pyrazolines. Preliminary SAR data are presented that show the aryl-rings are required for activity against WNV. More importantly, the results indicate WNV activity is tolerant to aryl-substitutions paving the way for the design and development of much larger combinatorial libraries with varied physicochemical properties.

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Accession: 004439216

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