Microwave-Assisted Synthesis of C2-Symmetric HIV-1 Protease Inhibitors : Development and Applications of In Situ Carbonylations and other Palladium(0)-Catalyzed Reactions

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: The HIV protease is an essential enzyme for HIV replication and constitutes an important target in the treatment of HIV/AIDS. Efficient combination therapies using inhibitors of the reverse transcriptase and protease enzymes have led many to reevaluate HIV infections from a terminal condition to a chronic-but-manageable disease in the developed world. Unfortunately, the emergence of drug resistant viral strains and severe treatment-related adverse effects limit the benefits of current anti-HIV/AIDS drugs for many patients. Furthermore, less than one in ten patients infected with HIV in low- and middle-income countries have access to proper treatment. These important shortcomings highlight the need for new, cost effective anti-HIV/AIDS drugs with unique properties.Microwave heating has recently emerged as a productivity-enhancing tool for the medicinal chemist. Reaction times can often be reduced from hours to minutes or seconds and chemistry previously considered impractical or unattainable can now be accessed.In this thesis, the search for unique HIV-1 protease inhibitors and the development and application of new microwave-promoted synthetic methods useful in small-scale medicinal chemistry applications are presented. Protocols for rapid amino- and hydrazidocarbonylations were developed. Mo(CO)6 was used as a solid source of carbon monoxide, enabling a safe, efficient and simple way to exploit carbonylation chemistry without the direct use of toxic carbon monoxide gas. The aminocarbonylation methodology was applied in the synthesis of two series of new HIV-1 protease inhibitors. A biological evaluation suggested that ortho-substitution of P1 and/or P1’ benzyl side chains might provide a new approach to HIV-1 protease inhibitors with novel properties. To assess the scope and limitations of the ortho-substitution concept, a new series of compounds exhibiting fair potency was prepared by various microwave-heated, palladium-catalyzed coupling reactions. Finally, computer modeling was applied to rationalize the binding-modes and structure-activity relationships of these HIV-1 protease inhibitors.

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