We have identified a series of 1-aryl-4,6-diamino-1,2-dihydrotriazines, structurally related to the antimalarial drug cycloguanil, as new inhibitors of influenza A and B virus and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) via targeting of the host dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) enzyme. Most analogues proved active against influenza B virus in the low micromolar range, and the best compounds (11, 13, 14 and 16) even reached the sub-micromolar potency of zanamivir (EC50 = 0.060 μM), and markedly exceeded (up to 327 times) the antiviral efficacy of ribavirin. Activity was also observed for two influenza A strains, including a virus with the S31N mutant form of M2 proton channel, which is the most prevalent resistance mutation for amantadine. Importantly, the compounds displayed nanomolar activity against RSV and a superior selectivity index, since the ratio of cytotoxic to antiviral concentration was >10,000 for the three most active compounds 11, 14 and 16 (EC50 ∼0.008 μM), far surpassing the potency and safety profile of the licensed drug ribavirin (EC50 = 5.8 μM, SI > 43).
Keywords: 1-Aryl-4,6-diamino-1,2-dihydrotriazine derivatives; Anti-RSV activity; Anti-influenza A and B viruses activity; Host (human) DHFR inhibition.
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