The purpose of the research program is to discover new anti-HIV drugs that are potent, safe, and easily administered. The approach combines state-of-the-art technology for molecular design, synthetic organic chemistry, biological assaying, and crystallographic determination of structures of the designed molecules bound to their protein target. The PI's research program spans fundamental advances in the development of software and methodology, detailed modeling of protein-ligand binding, inhibitor design, and small-molecule synthesis. Collaborations provide the determinations of biological activity in human T-cells and macromolecular structures. The PI's group has developed computational tools to speed lead optimization for potency, while being mindful of the need for desirable pharmacological properties. The specific focus is the discovery of non-nucleoside inhibitors of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (NNRTIs). NNRTIs are a central component of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in spite of significant deficiencies in the currently approved drugs in this class. The previous grant period witnessed striking advances for several chemical series including discovery of the most potent NNRTI ever reported for wild-type (WT) HIV-1. Means to enhance aqueous solubility, which has been problematic for most NNRTIs, also emerged. Building from these discoveries, new efforts are focused on advancing compounds from four chemical series into preclinical development. Catechol diethers are being further optimized to replace a cyanovinylphenyl group, which is a safety concern, with a substituted bicyclic heterocycle. In addition to the safety benefit, molecular modeling indicates that the new analogues should show enhanced anti-HIV activity. In addition, diarylamines and the catechol diethers are being modified with addition of a morpholinylalkoxy side chain that is strategically positioned to avoid significant reduction in potency, while providing a ca. 100-fold increase in aqueous solubility. Minor modifications of the solubilized diarylamines appear needed to yield preclinical candidates. Advances in a series containing an oxazole ring have also been made to provide excellent potency towards WT HIV-1 and the clinically important Tyr181Cys containing variant strain. In depth computational analysis led to a nearly 60- fold gain in potency towards the Tyr181Cys variant while retaining 5-nM potency towards the WT virus. Similar analyses are being carried out for the other prominent clinical variant, Lys103Asn;only a ca. 10-fold gain is needed to bring the potency towards strains with this replacement to the 10-nM level.

Public Health Relevance

Innovative computational procedures and software are being developed and applied for the efficient design of anti-HIV drugs. Coupled with synthetic organic chemistry and biological assaying we are discovering non- nucleoside inhibitors of HIV reverse transcriptase with high potency, high bioavailability, and low toxicity. Preclinical pharmacologica studies further prepare the compounds for human clinical trials.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01AI044616-16
Application #
8588886
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-AARR-K (05))
Program Officer
Turk, Steven R
Project Start
1999-01-01
Project End
2017-12-31
Budget Start
2014-01-01
Budget End
2014-12-31
Support Year
16
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
$374,625
Indirect Cost
$149,625
Name
Yale University
Department
Chemistry
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
043207562
City
New Haven
State
CT
Country
United States
Zip Code
06520
Lee, Won-Gil; Chan, Albert H; Spasov, Krasimir A et al. (2016) Design, Conformation, and Crystallography of 2-Naphthyl Phenyl Ethers as Potent Anti-HIV Agents. ACS Med Chem Lett 7:1156-1160
Jorgensen, William L (2016) Computer-aided discovery of anti-HIV agents. Bioorg Med Chem 24:4768-4778
Cole, Daniel J; Tirado-Rives, Julian; Jorgensen, William L (2015) Molecular dynamics and Monte Carlo simulations for protein-ligand binding and inhibitor design. Biochim Biophys Acta 1850:966-71
Frey, Kathleen M; Puleo, David E; Spasov, Krasimir A et al. (2015) Structure-based evaluation of non-nucleoside inhibitors with improved potency and solubility that target HIV reverse transcriptase variants. J Med Chem 58:2737-45
Gray, William T; Frey, Kathleen M; Laskey, Sarah B et al. (2015) Potent Inhibitors Active against HIV Reverse Transcriptase with K101P, a Mutation Conferring Rilpivirine Resistance. ACS Med Chem Lett 6:1075-9
Lee, Won-Gil; Frey, Kathleen M; Gallardo-Macias, Ricardo et al. (2015) Discovery and crystallography of bicyclic arylaminoazines as potent inhibitors of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 25:4824-7
Mukerjee, Anindita; Iyidogan, Pinar; Castellanos-Gonzalez, Alejandro et al. (2015) A nanotherapy strategy significantly enhances anticryptosporidial activity of an inhibitor of bifunctional thymidylate synthase-dihydrofolate reductase from Cryptosporidium. Bioorg Med Chem Lett 25:2065-7
Lee, Won-Gil; Frey, Kathleen M; Gallardo-Macias, Ricardo et al. (2014) Picomolar Inhibitors of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase: Design and Crystallography of Naphthyl Phenyl Ethers. ACS Med Chem Lett 5:1259-62
Parker, Christopher G; Dahlgren, Markus K; Tao, Ran N et al. (2014) Illuminating HIV gp120-Ligand Recognition through Computationally-Driven Optimization of Antibody-Recruiting Molecules. Chem Sci 5:2311-2317
Frey, Kathleen M; Gray, William T; Spasov, Krasimir A et al. (2014) Structure-based evaluation of C5 derivatives in the catechol diether series targeting HIV-1 reverse transcriptase. Chem Biol Drug Des 83:541-9

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