Background: Influenza is still a serious threat to human health with significant morbidity
and mortality, so it is desirable to develop novel anti-flu drug agents with novel structures.
Objective: The main purpose of this research was to explore broad-spectrum anti-flu agents and
provide antiviral stockpiles in response to potential future influenza pandemics.
Methods: Fifteen novel 12N-substituted tricyclic matrinic derivatives were synthesized and evaluated
for their anti-influenza activities against H1N1 subtype taking 12N-p-cyanobenzenesulfonyl
matrinane (1) as the lead. All prepared compounds were characterized by 1H NMR, 13C NMR and
ESI-HRMS. The pharmacokinetics (PK) profile of the key compound was also examined in this
Result: The structure-activity relationship study indicated that suitable benzyl groups on 12N atom
might be beneficial for the activity. Among them, 12N-p-carboxybenzyl matrinic butane (17g) exhibited
the most promising activity with an IC50 value of 16.2 µM and a selective index (SI) value
of over 33.4. In addition, compound 17g displayed a good in vivo pharmacokinetic profile with an
area under the curve (AUC0-∞) value of 9.89 µM·h.
Conclusion: We consider tricyclic matrinic butane derivatives to be a new class of anti-influenza
agents and this study provided useful information on further optimization.