Rhodanine derivatives as potent anti-HIV and anti-HSV microbicides

C Tintori, G Iovenitti, ER Ceresola, R Ferrarese, C Zamperini, A Brai, G Poli, E Dreassi, V Cagno, D Lembo, F Canducci, Maurizio Botta

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Although highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART) remarkably increased life expectancy of HIV positive people, the rate of novel HIV-1 infections worldwide still represent a major concern. In this context, pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) approaches such as vaginal microbicide gels topically releasing antiretroviral drugs, showed to have a striking impact in limiting HIV-1 spread. Nevertheless, the co-presence of other genital infections, particularly those due to HSV-1 or 2, constitute a serious drawback that strongly limits the efficacy of PrEP approaches. For this reason, combinations of different compounds with mixed antiviral and antiretroviral activity are thoroughly investigated Here we report the synthesis and the biological evaluation of a novel series of rhodanine derivatives, which showed to inhibit both HIV-1 and HSV-1/2 replication at nanomolar concentration, and were found to be active also on acyclovir resistant HSV-2 strains. The compounds showed a considerable reduction of activity in presence of serum due to a high binding to serum albumin, as determined through in vitro ADME evaluations. However, the most promising compound of the series maintained a considerable activity in gel formulation, with an EC50comparable to that obtained for the reference drug tenofovir. Moreover, the series of compounds showed pharmacokinetic properties suitable for topical formulation, thus suggesting that the novel rhodanine derivatives could represent effective agents to be used as dual anti HIV/HSV microbicides in PrEP approaches. © 2018 Tintori et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0198478
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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