Abstract Betulinic acid (1) has been modified to ionic derivatives (2-5) to improve its water solubility and biological activities. The binding properties of these derivatives with respect to human serum albumin (HSA) was examined and found to be similar to current anti-HIV drugs. These compounds did not inhibit HIV reverse transcriptase, however, 1, 2 and 5 inhibited herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2) replication at concentrations similar to those reported for acyclovir (IC50 ∼0.1-10 μM) and with minimal cellular cytotoxicity. IC50 values for antiviral activity against HSV-2 186 were 1.6, 0.6, 0.9, 7.2, and 0.9 μM for compounds 1-5, respectively.
- Betulinic acid
- HIV-1 reverse transcriptase
- Herpes simplex type 2 (HSV-2)