Synthesis and evaluation of α-thymidine analogues as novel antimalarials

H. Cui, J. Carrero-Lérida, A.P.G. Silva, J.L. Whittingham, J.A. Brannigan, L.M. Ruiz-Pérez, K.S. Wilson, D. González-Pacanowska, I.H. Gilbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plasmodium falciparum thymidylate kinase (PfTMPK) is a key enzyme in pyrimidine nucleotide biosynthesis. 3-Trifluoromethyl-4-chloro-phenyl-urea- α-thymidine has been reported as an inhibitor of Mycobacterium tuberculosis TMPK (MtTMPK). Starting from this point, we designed, synthesized and evaluated a number of thymidine analogues as antimalarials. Both 5′-urea-α- and β-thymidine derivatives were moderate inhibitors of PfTMPK and furthermore showed moderate inhibition of parasite growth. The structure of several enzyme-inhibitor complexes provides a basis for improved inhibitor design. However, we found that certain 5′-urea-α-thymidine analogues had antimalarial activity where inhibition of PfTMPK is not the major mode of action. Optimization of this series resulted in a compound with potent antimalarial activity (EC = 28 nM; CC = 29 μM).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10948-10957
Number of pages10
Issue number24
Early online date14 Dec 2012
Publication statusPublished - 27 Dec 2012

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