New compounds to fight the herpes simplex virus (HSV-1), which causes cold sores, have been made by researchers from Italy. The compounds’ antiviral activity could be enhanced further by encapsulating them in a cyclodextrin nanocarrier that acts as a delivery system.
Giovanni Grassi and colleagues from the University of Messina made indole-3,4-diones that share structural features with inhibitors of kinase – an enzyme linked to many diseases. The inhibitors were recently reported to prevent viral replication in vitro. ‘The diones showed remarkable anti HSV-1 activity in vitro,’ says Grassi. They then encapsulated the most effective dione in an amphiphilic – both hydrophilic and lipophilic – cyclodextrin. These nanocarriers increased the ability of the antiviral agents to penetrate into target cells.
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Synthesis and anti HSV-1 evaluation of novel indole-3,4-diones
Angela Scala, Massimiliano Cordaro, Antonino Mazzaglia, Francesco Risitano, Assunta Venuti, Maria Teresa Sciortino and Giovanni Grassi, Med. Chem. Commun., 2011