By Mori Mattia; Dasso Lang Maria Chiara; Palombi Nastasja; Friggeri Laura; Botta Maurizio; Saladini Francesco; Giannini Alessia; Zazzi Maurizio; Kovalenko Lesia; Mely Yves; et al
From ACS medicinal chemistry letters (2019), 10(4), 463-468, Language: English, Database: MEDLINE
Small molecule inhibitors of the HIV-1 nucleocapsid protein (NC) are considered as promising agents in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. In an effort to exploit the privileged 2-amino-4-phenylthiazole moiety in NC inhibition, here we conceived, synthesized, and tested in vitro 18 NC inhibitors (NCIs) bearing a double functionalization. In these NCIs, one part of the molecule is deputed to interact noncovalently with the NC hydrophobic pocket, while the second portion is designed to interact with the N-terminal domain of NC. This binding hypothesis was verified by molecular dynamics simulations, while the linkage between these two pharmacophores was found to enhance antiretroviral activity both on the wild-type virus and on HIV-1 strains with resistance to currently licensed drugs. The two most interesting compounds 6 and 13 showed no cytotoxicity, thus becoming valuable leads for further investigations.