With a view to improving the pharmacological properties, safety and pharmacokinetic profiles of current protease inhibitors, the synthesis of various acyl-substituted saquinavir and indinavir prodrugs, their in vitro stability with respect to hydrolysis and their anti-HIV (LAI and HTLV IIIB) activity and cytotoxicity in CEM-SS and MT4 cells have been investigated. Hydrolysis of the ester bond and liberation of the active free drug was found to be crucial for HIV inhibition: the faster the hydrolysis, the closer the anti-HIV activity was to that of the respective parent drug. This is the case for most of the C-14-substituted indinavir and saquinavir derivatives (IC50 from 10 to 360 nM for ester half-lives of 90 min to 40 h). Concomitantly, the level of HIV inhibition is very low for the prodrugs for which hydrolysis is very slow. This is the case with the myristoyl or oleyl saquinavir esters, owing to the stable masking of the hydroxyl that is part of the peptidomimetic non-cleavable transition state isostere responsible for the inhibitory potency of saquinavir (and indinavir). In contrast, the anti-HIV activity of the monosubstituted C-8 indinavir prodrugs seems not to be correlated with their resistance to hydrolysis, as expected (the C-8 hydroxyl of indinavir is not involved in the transition state isostere). No cytotoxicity was detected for the indinavir and saquinavir prodrugs for concentrations as high as 10 or even 100 μM, thus indicating promising therapeutic potential.
Antiviral Chemistry and Chemotherapy – SAGE
Published: Jun 23, 2016
Keywords: HIV,protease inhibitors,prodrugs,indinavir,saquinavir