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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Synthesis and antiviral activity of deoxy analogs of 1-[(2-hydroxyethoxy)methyl]-6-(phenylthio)thymine (HEPT) as potent and selective anti-HIV-1 agents.

The effect of substitution in the acyclic structure of 1-[(2-hydroxyethoxy)methyl]-6-(phenylthio)-thymine (HEPT) on anti-HIV-1 activity was investigated by synthesizing a series of deoxy analogs and related compounds. Preparation of 1-[(2-alkyloxyethoxy)methyl]-6- (phenylthio)thymine (2-4) derivatives was carried out based on alkylation of HEPT with primary alkyl halides. Preparation of the 1-[(alkyloxy)methyl]-6-(phenylthio)thymine (26-31) and 1-[(alkyloxy)methyl]-6-(arylthio)-2-thiouracil (32-45) derivatives was carried out on the basis of LDA lithiation of 1-[(alkyloxy)-methyl]thymine (9-14) and 1-[(alkyloxy)methyl]-2-thiouracil (15-25) followed by reaction with diaryl disulfides. The oxidative hydrolysis of the 2-thiouracil derivatives gave 1-[(alkyloxy)methyl]-6-(arylthio)uracil derivatives (46-57). 1-Alkyl-6-(phenylthio)thymine (59-61) derivatives were prepared on the basis of alkylation of 6-(phenylthio)thymine (58). Methylation of the hydroxyl group of HEPT did not affect the anti-HIV-1 activity of HEPT. Substitution of the 1-(2-hydroxyethoxy)methyl group by ethyl, butyl, methoxymethyl, (propyloxy)methyl, and (butyloxy)-methyl groups somewhat improved the original anti-HIV-1 activity of HEPT. Substitution with ethoxymethyl and (benzyloxy)methyl groups further potentiated the activity [EC50: 1-(ethoxy-methyl)-6-(phenylthio)thymine (27), 0.33 microM; 1-[(benzyloxy)methyl]-6-(phenylthio)thymine (31), 0.088 microM]. When the 5-methyl group of 27 and 31 was replaced by an ethyl or an isopropyl group, the anti-HIV-1 activity was improved remarkably [EC50: 5-ethyl-1-(ethoxymethyl)-6-(phenylthio)-uracil (46), 0.019 microM; 5-ethyl-1-[(benzyloxy)methyl]-6-(phenylthio)uracil (52), 0.0059 microM; 5-isopropyl-1-(ethoxymethyl)-6-(phenylthio)uracil (55), 0.012 microM; 5-isopropyl-1-[(benzyloxy)methyl]-6-(phenylthio)uracil (56), 0.0027 microM]. Introduction of two m-methyl groups into the phenylthio ring also potentiated the activity.[1]


  1. Synthesis and antiviral activity of deoxy analogs of 1-[(2-hydroxyethoxy)methyl]-6-(phenylthio)thymine (HEPT) as potent and selective anti-HIV-1 agents. Tanaka, H., Takashima, H., Ubasawa, M., Sekiya, K., Nitta, I., Baba, M., Shigeta, S., Walker, R.T., De Clercq, E., Miyasaka, T. J. Med. Chem. (1992) [Pubmed]
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