Journal of Medicinal Chemistry vol:41 issue:22 pages:4343-4353
A new series of anhydrohexitol nucleosides are described. These compounds have a pyrimidine base moiety substituted in the 5-position with a chloro (1b), trifluoromethyl (1c), vinyl (1d), 2-thienyl (1e), ethynyl (1f) or propynyl (1g) substituent. The vinyl, propynyl, and, in particular, the 5-trifluoromethyl analogue showed potent activity against herpes simplex virus (HSV), 1c with a selectivity index of >16000 against HSV-1 and >1000 against HSV-2. Conformational analysis of anhydrohexitol nucleosides using computational methods indicates that these nucleosides occur in an equilibrium between the C1 and 1C form with a DeltaE of 5.9 kJ/mol. When the anhydrohexitol nucleoside is cocrystallized with the HSV-1 thymidine kinase it adopts a 1C conformation, which is opposite to the conformation found for the small molecule alone. The enzyme, apparently, induces a conformational change, and conformational flexibility of an anhydrohexitol nucleoside may be advantageous for recognition by viral enzymes.