Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 2017 05 1925(14) 3861-3870 pii 10.1016/j.bmc.2017.05.040
Non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs) represent an integral part of the currently available combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) contributing to reduce the AIDS-mortality and turned the disease from lethal to chronic. In this context we recently reported a series of 6-chloro-1-(3-methylphenylsulfonyl)-1,3-dihydro-2H-benzimidazol-2-ones as potent non-nucleoside HIV-1 reverse transcriptase inhibitors. In this paper, we describe the design and the synthesis of two novel series of benzimidazolone analogues in which the linker moiety between the phenyl ring and the sulfonyl group was modified and new small lipophilic groups on the benzyl sulfonyl pendant were introduced. All the new obtained compounds were evaluated as RT inhibitors and were also tested against RTs containing single amino acid mutations. Finally, molecular docking studies were performed in order to rationalize the observed activity of the most promising compound.