The dicaffeoylquinic acids (DCQAs) and dicaffeoyltartaric acids (DCTAs) are potent and selective inhibitors of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) integrase. They also inhibit HIV-1 replication at nontoxic concentrations. Since integrase is an excellent target for anti-HIV therapy, structure-activity relationships were employed to synthesize compounds with: (1) improved potency against HIV-1 integrase, (2) improved anti-HIV effect in tissue culture, and (3) increased selectivity as indicated by low cellular toxicity. Thirty-four analogues of the DCTAs and DCQAs were synthesized and tested for cell toxicity, anti-HIV activity, and inhibition of HIV-1 integrase. Seventeen of the 34 analogues had potent activity against HIV-1 integrase ranging from 0. 07 to >10 microM. Seventeen analogues that were synthesized or purchased had no inhibitory activity against integrase at concentrations of 25 microM. Of the biologically active analogues, 7 of the 17 inhibited HIV replication at nontoxic concentrations. The most potent compounds were D-chicoric acid, meso-chicoric acid, bis(3,4-dihydroxydihydrocinnamoyl)-L-tartaric acid, digalloyl-L-tartaric acid, bis(3,4-dihydroxybenzoyl)-L-tartaric acid, dicaffeoylglyceric acid, and bis(3, 4-dihydroxyphenylacetyl)-L-tartaric acid. Anti-HIV activity of the active compounds in tissue culture ranged from 35 to 0.66 microM. Structure-activity relationships demonstrated that biscatechol moieties were absolutely required for inhibition of integrase, while at least one free carboxyl group was required for anti-HIV activity. These data demonstrate that analogues of the DCTAs and the DCQAs can be synthesized which have improved activity against HIV integrase.