Synthesis and anti-HCV activity of novel 5-arylmethylene-1,3-thiazolidin-4-one derivatives via suppression of NS5B polymerase and COX-2


Journal of Molecular Structure, vol.1311, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 1311
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.molstruc.2024.138407
  • Journal Name: Journal of Molecular Structure
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Chemical Abstracts Core, Chimica, Compendex, INSPEC
  • Keywords: 4-thiazolidinones, Antiviral activity, COX-2, Dengue virus, Docking, Enzyme inhibitors, Hepatitis C virus, NS5B
  • Marmara University Affiliated: Yes


Hepatitis C (HCV) is a viral infection that leads to forms of acute and chronic liver disease, including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated in 2019 that approximately 290,000 people died from hepatitis C (mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma). Direct-acting antiviral drugs (DAAs) can cure more than 95% of individuals with hepatitis C infection, while research on the discovery of new antiviral agents is still ongoing. The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) can cause various biochemical changes in liver cells, and some of these changes are associated with the COX-2 enzyme. The identification of its role in promoting growth in liver cells as well as its involvement in various cancer types, including hepatocellular carcinoma, has made COX-2 an important target in the development of new agents effective against HCV. In this study, thirty-six new 5-arylmethylene-2-imino-1,3-thiazolidin-4-one derivatives (5a-s, 6a-s) were synthesized through Knoevenagel condensation of 2-[(4-substitutedpyridin-2-yl)imino]-1,3-thiazolidin-4-one derivatives with various aldehydes. Structures of the synthesized compounds were elucidated by the use of spectral and chromatographic techniques, besides elemental analyses. Four compounds were selected for further studies as they were found to suppress the NS5B protein with anti-HCV activity using the Western Blotting method. The selected compounds 5o, 6m, 6r, and 6s inhibited HCV with EC50 values of 8.0 ± 0.2 µM, 13.9 ± 0.45, 9.2 ± 0.2 µM, and 12.1 ± 0.1 µM, respectively. It was determined that these compounds reduced HCV-induced COX-2 promoter activity in Ava5 cells compared to Huh7 cells. The antiviral effects of the compounds were also investigated on DENV, closely related to HCV due to sharing certain biological, structural, and mechanical properties throughout their life cycles. However, no significant effect was observed in the preliminary screening study, indicating the compounds' specificity for HCV. Considering the relationship between HCV, DENV, and COX-2, the compounds' COX-1 and COX-2 enzyme inhibition potentials were investigated both in vitro and in silico. Compounds 6d, 6e, 6f, and 6m, which exhibited high selective COX-2 inhibition, were discussed for their interactions with the active site. Our study revealed that our target compounds suppressed COX-2 both at the protein level and through enzyme inhibition, thus providing promising findings for the discovery of new anti-HCV effective COX-2 inhibitors.