Eradicating influenza A virus (IAV) is difficult, due to its genetic drift and reassortment ability. As the infectious cycle is initiated by the influenza glycoprotein, hemagglutinin (HA), which mediates the binding of virions to terminal sialic acids moieties, HA is a tempting target of anti-influenza inhibitors. However, the complexity of the HA structure has prevented delineation of the structural characterization of the HA protein–ligand complex. Our computational strategy efficiently analyzed > 200,000 records of compounds held in the United States National Cancer Institute (NCI) database and identified potential HA inhibitors, by modeling the sialic acid (SA) receptor binding site (RBS) for the HA structure. Our modeling revealed that compound NSC85561 showed significant antiviral activity against the IAV H1N1 strain with EC50 values ranging from 2.31 to 2.53 µM and negligible cytotoxicity (CC50 > 700 µM). Using the NSC85561 compound as the template to generate 12 derivatives, robust bioassay results revealed the strongest antiviral efficacies with NSC47715 and NSC7223. Virtual screening clearly identified three SA receptor binding site inhibitors that were successfully validated in experimental data. Thus, our computational strategy has identified SA receptor binding site inhibitors against HA that show IAV-associated antiviral activity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas