Sulfur(vi) fluoride exchange as a key reaction for synthesizing biaryl sulfate core derivatives as potent hepatitis C virus NS5A inhibitors and their structure–activity relationship studies†
Extremely potent, new hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural 5A (NS5A) featuring substituted biaryl sulfate core structures was designed and synthesized. Based on the previously reported novel HCV NS5A inhibitors featuring biaryl sulfate core structures which exhibit two-digit picomolar half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) values against HCV genotype 1b and 2a, the new inhibitors equipped with the sulfate core structures containing diversely substituted aryl groups were explored. In this study, highly efficient, chemoselective coupling reactions between an arylsulfonyl fluoride and an aryl silyl ether, known as the sulfur(VI) fluoride exchange (SuFEx) reaction, were utilized. Among the inhibitors prepared based on the SuFEx chemistry, compounds 14, 15 and 29 exhibited two-digit picomolar EC50 values against GT-1b and single digit or sub nanomolar activities against the HCV GT-2a strain. Nonsymmetrical inhibitors containing an imidazole and amide moieties on each side of the sulfate core structures were also synthesized. In addition, a biotinylated probe targeting NS5A protein was prepared for labeling using the same synthetic methodology.