Acylguanidine derivatives of zanamivir and oseltamivir: Potential orally available prodrugs against influenza viruses.Eur J Med Chem. 2018 Jun 25; 154:314-323.EJ
Zanamivir (ZA) and guanidino-oseltamivir carboxylic acid (GOC) are very potent inhibitors against influenza neuraminidase (NA). The guanidinium moiety plays an important role in NA binding; however, its polar cationic nature also hinders the use of ZA and GOC from oral administration. In this study, we investigated the use of ZA and GOC acylguanidine derivatives as possible orally available prodrugs. The acylguanidine derivatives were prepared by coupling with either n-octanoic acid or (S)-naproxen. The lipophilic acyl substituents were verified to improve cell permeability, and may also improve the bioavailability of acylguanidine compounds. In comparison, the acylguanidines bearing linear octanoyl chain showed better NA inhibitory activity and higher hydrolysis rate than the corresponding derivatives having bulky branched naproxen moiety. Our molecular docking experiments revealed that the straight octanoyl chain could extend to the 150-cavity and 430-cavity of NA to gain extra hydrophobic interactions. Mice receiving the ZA octanoylguanidine derivative survived from influenza infection better than those treated with ZA, whereas the GOC octanoylguanidine derivative could be orally administrated to treat mice with efficacy equal to oseltamivir. Our present study demonstrates that incorporation of appropriate lipophilic acyl substituents to the polar guanidine group of ZA and GOC is a feasible approach to develop oral drugs for influenza therapy.