Journal of Medicinal Chemistry vol:44 issue:11 pages:1702-9
The 1-O-hexadecyl-2-O-methyl-sn-glyceryl phosphodiester AZT 4 and hexadecyl-phosphodiester AZT 5 derivatives were synthesized and found to be active against HIV-1, HIV-2, and tumor cell proliferation. Compared to AZT, compound 4 possessed ca. 10-fold lower anti-HIV activity and ca. 10-fold higher anti-tumor cell activity. Compound 5 was 10-fold less potent than compound 4 in both biological tests. In an attempt to correlate biological activity of compounds 4 and 5 with structure, their conformational and thermal effects on membrane bilayers were compared using a combination of NMR spectroscopy, computational analysis, and Differential Scanning Calorimetry. The obtained results showed that compound 4 adopts a compact conformation in which the alkyl chain, the 2-methoxyglyceryl functionality, and the methyl group of thymine are in spatial proximity, while analogue 5 possesses a less compact conformation of the nucleoside base and the alkyl chain. The presence of the 2-methoxyglyceryl group in compound 4 may augment its potency by inducing a turn of the alkyl chain stabilized by hydrophobic interactions. The DSC scans show that conjugate 4 affects less effectively the thermotropic properties of model membrane bilayers than compound 5. This may be attributed to the fact that compound 4 is incorporated in a compact conformation and does not perturb significantly the trans:gauche isomerization of the membrane phospholipids. In contrast, conjugate 5 may enter with a less compact conformation and perturb more the membrane bilayers.