Journal of Medicinal Chemistry vol:44 issue:18 pages:3014-21
New 5'-O-carbonate prodrugs of zidovudine (AZT) have been synthesized in order to enhance its uptake by HIV-1 infected cells, to improve its anti-HIV potency, and to optimize the intramolecular cyclic rearrangement process related to the 5'-O-(4-hydroxybutyl) carbonate moiety. Evidence of this prodrug rearrangement was confirmed by comparison of the serum half-lives of the 3'-azido-3'-deoxythymidin-5'-yl O-(4-hydroxyalkyl or -alkenyl or -alkylepoxide) carbonate prodrugs with our thermodynamic predictions. Interestingly, these 5'-O-carbonate prodrug series show increased anti-HIV potencies in conjunction with, or without, reduced cytotoxicity as compared to AZT that lead to a gain in selectivity indexes. The cytotoxicity of AZT could be reduced with these 5'-O-carbonate prodrug series by delaying the 5'-O-glucuronidation of AZT, which is one of the major limitations of AZT.