ImQuest Publication Highlight: Antiviral Selectivity Assays

Inhibition of HBV replication by N-hydroxyisoquinolinedione and N-hydroxypyridinedione ribonuclease H inhibitors

ImQuest was recently part of a publication that assessed the effects of novel antibacterial molecules, published in Antiviral Research:


We recently developed a screening system capable of identifying and evaluating inhibitors of the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) ribonuclease H (RNaseH), which is the only HBV enzyme not targeted by current anti-HBV therapies. Inhibiting the HBV RNaseH blocks synthesis of the positive-polarity DNA strand, causing early termination of negative-polarity DNA synthesis and accumulation of RNA:DNA heteroduplexes. We previously reported inhibition of HBV replication by N-hydroxyisoquinolinediones (HID) and N-hydroxypyridinediones (HPD) in human hepatoma cells. Here, we report results from our ongoing efforts to develop more potent anti-HBV RNaseH inhibitors in the HID/HPD compound classes. We synthesized and screened additional HIDs and HPDs for preferential suppression of positive-polarity DNA in cells replicating HBV. Three of seven new HIDs inhibited HBV replication, however, the therapeutic indexes (TI = CC50/EC50) did not improve over what we previously reported. All nine of the HPDs inhibited HBV replication with EC50s ranging from 110 nM to 4 μM. Cellular cytotoxicity was evaluated by four assays and CC50s ranged from 15 to > 100 μM. The best compounds have a calculated TI of >300, which is a 16-fold improvement over the primary HPD hit. These studies indicate that the HPD compound class holds potential for antiviral discovery.

Edwards et al.

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