S119 was a top hit from an ultrahigh throughput screen performed to identify novel inhibitors of influenza virus replication. It showed a potent antiviral effect (50% inhibitory concentration, IC50 = 20 nM) and no detectable cytotoxicity (50% cytotoxic concentration, CC50 > 500 μM) to yield a selectivity index greater than 25â000. Upon investigation, we found that S119 selected for resistant viruses carrying mutations in the viral nucleoprotein (NP). These resistance mutations highlight a likely S119 binding site overlapping with but not identical to that found for the compound nucleozin. Mechanism of action studies revealed that S119 affects both the oligomerization state and cellular localization of the NP protein which has an impact on viral transcription, replication, and protein expression. Through a hit-To-lead structure-Activity relationship (SAR) study, we found an analog of S119, named S119-8, which had increased breadth of inhibition against influenza A and B viruses accompanied by only a small loss in potency. Finally, in vitro viral inhibition assays showed a synergistic relationship between S119-8 and oseltamivir when they were combined, indicating the potential for future drug cocktails.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-157
Number of pages12
JournalACS Infectious Diseases
Issue number2
StatePublished - 9 Feb 2018


  • aggregation
  • antiviral
  • influenza
  • nucleoprotein
  • nucleozin


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