Emma A Harden

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, United States

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Publications (23)88.49 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Methylenecyclopropane nucleosides have been reported to be active against many of the human herpesviruses. The most active compound of this class is cyclopropavir (CPV), which exhibits good antiviral activity against human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), Epstein Barr virus, both variants of human herpesvirus 6, and human herpesvirus 8. CPV has two hydroxylmethyl groups on the methylenecyclopropane ring, but analogs with a single hydroxymethyl group, such as the prototypical (S)-synguanol, are also active and exhibit a broader spectrum of antiviral activity that also includes hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus. Here, a large set of mono-hydroxymethyl compounds with ether and thioether substituents at the 6-position of the purine was synthesized and evaluated for antiviral activity against a range of human herpesviruses. Some of these analogs had a broader spectrum of antiviral activity than CPV in that they also inhibited the replication of herpes simplex viruses (HSV) type 1 and 2 and varicella zoster virus. Interestingly, the antiviral activity of these compounds appeared to be dependent on the activity of the HCMV UL97 kinase, but was relatively unaffected by the absence of thymidine kinase activity in HSV. These data taken together indicate that the mechanism of action of these analogs is distinct from that of CPV. They also suggest that they might be useful as a broad spectrum antiherpesvirus agent and may be effective in the treatment of resistant virus infections.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 05/2013; 57(8). DOI:10.1128/AAC.00429-13 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A second-generation series of substituted methylenecyclopropane nucleosides (MCPNs) has been synthesized and evaluated for antiviral activity against a panel of human herpesviruses, and for cytotoxicity. Although alkylated 2,6-diaminopurine analogs showed little antiviral activity, the compounds containing ether and thioether substituents at the 6-position of the purine did demonstrate potent and selective antiviral activity against several different human herpesviruses. In the 6-alkoxy series, antiviral activity depended on the length of the ether carbon chain, with the optimum chain length being about four carbon units long. For the corresponding thioethers, compounds containing secondary thioethers were more potent than those with primary thioethers.
    Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry 05/2012; 20(12):3710-8. DOI:10.1016/j.bmc.2012.04.049 · 2.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclopropavir (CPV) is active against human cytomegalovirus (CMV), as well as both variants of human herpesvirus 6 and human herpesvirus 8. The mechanism of action of CPV against CMV is similar to that of ganciclovir (GCV) in that it is phosphorylated initially by the CMV UL97 kinase, resulting in inhibition of viral DNA synthesis. Resistance to CPV maps to the UL97 kinase but is associated primarily with H520Q mutations and thus retains good antiviral activity against most GCV-resistant isolates. An examination of CMV-infected cultures treated with CPV revealed unusual cell morphology typically associated with the absence of UL97 kinase activity. A surrogate assay for UL97 kinase activity confirmed that CPV inhibited the activity of this enzyme and that its action was similar to the inhibition seen with maribavir (MBV) in this assay. Combination studies using real-time PCR indicated that, like MBV, CPV also antagonized the efficacy of GCV and were consistent with the observed inhibition of the UL97 kinase. Deep sequencing of CPV-resistant laboratory isolates identified a frameshift mutation in UL27, presumably to compensate for a loss of UL97 enzymatic activity. We conclude that the mechanism of action of CPV against CMV is complex and involves both the inhibition of DNA synthesis and the inhibition of the normal activity of the UL97 kinase.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 07/2011; 55(10):4682-91. DOI:10.1128/AAC.00571-11 · 4.48 Impact Factor
  • Antiviral Research 04/2010; 86(1). DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2010.02.445 · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • Antiviral Research 04/2010; 86(1). DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2010.02.464 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A series of 4'-thionucleosides were synthesized and evaluated for activities against orthopoxviruses and herpesviruses. We reported previously that one analog, 5-iodo-4'-thio-2'-deoxyuridine (4'-thioIDU), exhibits good activity both in vitro and in vivo against two orthopoxviruses. This compound also has good activity in cell culture against many of the herpesviruses. It inhibited the replication of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), HSV-2, and varicella-zoster virus with 50% effective concentrations (EC(50)s) of 0.1, 0.5, and 2 microM, respectively. It also inhibited the replication of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) with an EC(50) of 5.9 microM but did not selectively inhibit Epstein-Barr virus, human herpesvirus 6, or human herpesvirus 8. While acyclovir-resistant strains of HSV-1 and HSV-2 were comparatively resistant to 4'-thioIDU, it retained modest activity (EC(50)s of 4 to 12 microM) against these strains. Some ganciclovir-resistant strains of HCMV also exhibited reduced susceptibilities to the compound, which appeared to be related to the specific mutations in the DNA polymerase, consistent with the observed incorporation of the compound into viral DNA. The activity of 4'-thioIDU was also evaluated using mice infected intranasally with the MS strain of HSV-2. Although there was no decrease in final mortality rates, the mean length of survival after inoculation increased significantly (P < 0.05) for all animals receiving 4'-thioIDU. The findings from the studies presented here suggest that 4'-thioIDU is a good inhibitor of some herpesviruses, as well as orthopoxviruses, and this class of compounds warrants further study as a therapy for infections with these viruses.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 09/2009; 53(12):5251-8. DOI:10.1128/AAC.00417-09 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2) infections are common, but can cause serious infections in neonates and the immunocompromised. Drugs currently used to treat cutaneous or genital HSV infections are effective in limiting disease, but the emergence of drug resistant viruses in immunocompromised individuals can be problematic. While the prophylactic oral treatment with antiviral drugs can reduce virus shedding and transmission, there is a need for topical microbicides that have the potential to limit sexual transmission of the virus. Previous reports demonstrated the antiviral activity of complex sulfated polysaccharides extracted from various species of marine algae and suggested that they interfered with the attachment of virions to host cells. Here, we evaluated the antiviral activity of extracts from Undaria pinnatifida, Splachnidium rugosum, Gigartina atropurpurea, and Plocamium cartilagineum against HSV-1 and HSV-2. These extracts exhibited good activity when added during the first hour of viral infection, but were ineffective if added later. Plaque reduction assays, when the extracts were added prior to viral inoculation, yielded EC(50) values that ranged from 2.5-3.6 microg/ml for HSV-1 and 0.7-6.6 microg/ml for HSV-2. None of the extracts exhibited significant toxicity in a neutral red uptake assay (IC(50) >100 microg/ml). Subsequent assays showed that the compounds had potent virucidal activity and were active at very low concentrations. We conclude that these extracts are nontoxic and effective virucidal agents that warrant further investigation to examine their potential role in the prevention of HSV infections of humans.
    Antiviral research 08/2009; 83(3):282-9. DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.06.007 · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • Antiviral Research 05/2009; 82(2). DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.02.118 · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • Antiviral Research 05/2009; 82(2). DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.02.107 · 3.94 Impact Factor
  • Antiviral Research 05/2009; 82(2). DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2009.02.164 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) often suffer from herpesvirus infections as a result of immunosuppression. These infections can occur while patients are receiving antiretroviral therapy, and additional drugs required to treat their infection can adversely affect compliance. It would be useful to have antivirals with a broader spectrum of activity that included both HIV and the herpesviruses. We reported previously that alkoxyalkyl ester prodrugs of cidofovir are up to 3 orders of magnitude more active against herpesvirus replication and may be less toxic than the unmodified drug. To determine if this strategy would be effective for certain phosphonomethoxyethyl nucleoside phosphonates which are also active against HIV infections, the hexadecyloxypropyl (HDP) esters of 1-(phosphonomethoxyethyl)-cytosine, 1-(phosphonomethoxyethyl)-5-bromo-cytosine (PME-5BrC), 1-(phosphonomethoxyethyl)-5-fluoro-cytosine, 9-(phosphonomethoxyethyl)-2,6-diaminopurine (PME-DAP), and 9-(phosphonomethoxyethyl)-2-amino-6-cyclopropylaminopurine (PME-cPrDAP) were evaluated for activity against herpesvirus replication. The HDP esters were substantially more active than the unmodified acyclic nucleoside phosphonates, indicating that esterification with alkoxyalkyl groups increases the antiviral activity of many acyclic nucleoside phosphonates. The most interesting compounds included HDP-PME-cPrDAP and HDP-PME-DAP, which were 12- to 43-fold more active than the parent nucleoside phosphonates against herpes simplex virus and cytomegalovirus, and HDP-PME-cPrDAP and HDP-PME-5BrC which were especially active against Epstein-Barr virus. The results presented here indicate that HDP-esterified acyclic nucleoside phosphonates with antiviral activity against HIV also inhibit the replication of some herpesviruses and can extend the spectrum of activity for these compounds.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 11/2008; 52(12):4326-30. DOI:10.1128/AAC.00918-08 · 4.48 Impact Factor
  • Antiviral Research 05/2008; 78(2). DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2008.01.120 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The antiviral activity of a new series of thymidine analogs was determined against vaccinia virus (VV), cowpox virus (CV), herpes simplex virus, and varicella-zoster virus. Several compounds were identified that had good activity against each of the viruses, including a set of novel 5-substituted deoxyuridine analogs. To investigate the possibility that these drugs might be phosphorylated preferentially by the viral thymidine kinase (TK) homologs, the antiviral activities of these compounds were also assessed using TK-deficient strains of some of these viruses. Some of these compounds were shown to be much less effective in the absence of a functional TK gene in CV, which was unexpected given the high degree of amino acid identity between this enzyme and its cellular homolog. This unanticipated result suggested that the CV TK was important in the mechanism of action of these compounds and also that it might phosphorylate a wider variety of substrates than other type II enzymes. To confirm these data, we expressed the VV TK and human TK1 in bacteria and isolated the purified enzymes. Enzymatic assays demonstrated that the viral TK could efficiently phosphorylate many of these compounds, whereas most of the compounds were very poor substrates for the cellular kinase, TK1. Thus, the specific phosphorylation of these compounds by the viral kinase may be sufficient to explain the TK dependence. This unexpected result suggests that selective phosphorylation by the viral kinase may be a promising new approach in the discovery of highly selective inhibitors of orthopoxvirus replication.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 06/2007; 51(5):1795-803. DOI:10.1128/AAC.01447-06 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Orthopoxviruses and herpesviruses are both large enveloped DNA viruses, yet these virus families exhibit very different susceptibilities to antiviral drugs. We investigated the activation of nucleoside analogs by the types I and II thymidine kinase (TK) homologs expressed by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and cowpox virus (CV). Antiviral activity against TK(-) and TK(+) strains of HSV-1 and CV was determined, and the ratio of the EC(50) values was used as a measurement of TK dependence. As to HSV-1, most of the selected compounds were markedly less effective against the TK(-) strains, suggesting that this enzyme was required for the activation of these nucleoside analogs. This differs from the results for CV where only idoxuridine and bromodeoxyuridine appeared to be activated, putatively by the type II TK expressed by this virus. These data confirm that the type II TK encoded by CV exhibits a more limited substrate specificity than the type I TK encoded by HSV-1. These data suggest that the inefficient activation of nucleoside analogs by the orthopoxvirus TK significantly limits their activity. Additional screening against orthopoxviruses will be required to identify nucleoside analogs that are efficiently activated by their type II TK.
    Antiviral Research 09/2006; 71(1):1-6. DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2006.01.013 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cidofovir (CDV) is an effective therapy for certain human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infections in immunocompromised patients that are resistant to other antiviral drugs, but the compound is not active orally. To improve oral bioavailability, a series of lipid analogs of CDV and cyclic CDV (cCDV), including hexadecyloxypropyl-CDV and -cCDV and octadecyloxyethyl-CDV and -cCDV, were synthesized and found to have multiple-log-unit enhanced activity against HCMV in vitro. On the basis of the activity observed with these analogs, additional lipid esters were synthesized and evaluated for their activity against herpes simplex virus (HSV) types 1 and 2, human cytomegalovirus, murine cytomegalovirus, varicella-zoster virus (VZV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), and HHV-8. Using several different in vitro assays, concentrations of drug as low as 0.001 μM reduced herpesvirus replication by 50% (EC50) with the CDV analogs, whereas the cCDV compounds were generally less active. In most of the assays performed, the EC50 values of the lipid esters were at least 100-fold lower than the EC50 values for unmodified CDV or cCDV. The lipid analogs were also active against isolates that were resistant to CDV, ganciclovir, or foscarnet. These results indicate that the lipid ester analogs are considerably more active than CDV itself against HSV, VZV, CMV, EBV, HHV-6, and HHV-8 in vitro, suggesting that they may have potential for the treatment of infections caused by a variety of herpesviruses.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 10/2005; 49(9):3724-33. DOI:10.1128/AAC.49.9.3724-3733.2005 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have reported previously that methylenecyclopropane analogs of nucleosides have excellent activity against certain members of the herpesvirus family. A second generation, the 2,2-bis-hydroxymethyl derivatives, were synthesized, and 18 compounds were tested for activity in vitro against herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2), human and murine cytomegalovirus (HCMV and MCMV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). Selected analogs were also evaluated against human herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6) and HHV-8. None of the 18 compounds had activity against HSV-1 or HSV-2, but four were active against VZV by plaque reduction (PR) assay at 50% effective concentration (EC(50)) levels of < or =50 microM. Six of the 18 compounds were active against HCMV by cytopathic effect or PR assays with EC(50)s of 0.5 to 44 microM, and all were active against MCMV by PR (0.3 to 54 microM). Four of the compounds were active against EBV by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (<0.3 to 4.4 microM). Four compounds with CMV activity were also active against HHV-6A and HHV-6B (0.7 to 28 microM), and three compounds were active against HHV-8 (5.5 to 16 microM). One of these, ZSM-I-62, had particularly good activity against CMV, HHV-6, and HHV-8, with EC(50)s of 0.7 to 8 microM. Toxicity was evaluated in adherent and nonadherent cells, and minimal cytotoxicity was observed. Mechanism of action studies with HCMV suggested that these compounds are phosphorylated by the ppUL97 phosphotransferase and are potent inhibitors of viral DNA synthesis. These results indicate that at least one of these compounds may have potential for use in treating CMV and other herpesvirus infections in humans.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 04/2005; 49(3):1039-45. DOI:10.1128/AAC.49.3.1039-1045.2005 · 4.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Herpesviruses cause a wide variety of human diseases ranging from cold sores and genital herpes to encephalitis, congenital infections and lymphoproliferative diseases. These opportunistic viruses cause major problems in immunocompromised individuals such as transplant recipients, cancer patients, and HIV-infected persons. The current treatment of these infections is not optimal and there is a need for more active, less toxic compounds that might be used in place of or in addition to current therapies. We have evaluated a new series of 4-oxo-dihydroquinolines, which have a different mechanism of action than nucleosides and have activity against multiple herpesviruses. Of the four new compounds evaluated, two (PHA-529311 and PHA-570886) had greater activity than the parent, PHA-183792, against several herpesviruses and one (PHA-568561) was as effective as the parent. A fourth, PHA-243672, was considerably less effective. They had greater efficacy against cytomegalovirus (CMV) than the other herpesviruses tested and also had activity against acyclovir-resistant herpes simplex virus and varicella-zoster virus isolates and ganciclovir or foscarnet-resistant CMV isolates. These results confirm the broad-spectrum efficacy of these compounds against multiple herpesviruses and suggest that members of this class may have a potential role for treatment of a variety of herpesvirus infections.
    Antiviral Research 03/2005; 65(2):97-105. DOI:10.1016/j.antiviral.2004.10.003 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For Abstract see ChemInform Abstract in Full Text.
    ChemInform 04/2004; 35(17). DOI:10.1002/chin.200417208
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    ABSTRACT: We have reported previously that purine methylenecyclopropane analogs are potent agents against cytomegaloviruses. In an attempt to extend the activity of these compounds, the 2-amino-6-cyclopropylaminopurine analog, QYL-1064, was selected for further study by modifying the purine 6 substituent. A total of 22 analogs were tested against herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1, HSV-2), varicella zoster virus (VZV), human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), human herpesvirus type 6 (HHV-6) and human herpesvirus type 8 (HHV-8). Ten of the analogs had activity against at least one of the viruses tested. One compound had moderate activity against HSV-1 and six had activity against VZV. All but one compound was active against HCMV with a mean EC50 of 2.1 +/- 0.6 microM, compared with a mean EC50 of 3.9 +/- 0.8 microM for ganciclovir. Of special interest was the fact that eight of the ten compounds were active against both HHV-6A and HHV-6B with mean EC50 values of 6.0 +/- 5.2 mciroM and <2.4 +/- 1.5 microM, respectively. Only two compounds had activity against EBV, whereas all but one compound was active against HHV-8 with a mean EC50 of 3.1 +/- 1.7 microM. These results indicate that members of this series of methylenecyclopropane analogs are highly active against HCMV, HHV-6, and HHV-8 but are less active against HSV, VZV, and EBV.
    Nucleosides Nucleotides &amp Nucleic Acids 01/2004; 22(12):2105-19. DOI:10.1081/NCN-120026633 · 1.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6), and human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) are responsible for a number of clinical manifestations in both normal and immunocompromised individuals. The parent benzimidazole ribonucleosides evaluated in this series, 2-bromo-5,6-dichloro-1-(beta-D-ribofuranosyl)benzimidazole (BDCRB) and maribavir (1263W94), are potent and selective inhibitors of human CMV replication. These nucleosides act by two different mechanisms. BDCRB blocks the processing and maturation of viral DNA, whereas 1263W94 inhibits the viral enzyme pUL97 and interferes with DNA synthesis. In the present study, we have evaluated the in vitro antiviral activity of BDCRB, an analog, GW275175X (175X), and 1263W94 against the replication of HSV-1, HSV-2, VZV, CMV, EBV, HHV-6, and HHV-8. By using various methodologies, significant activity was observed against human CMV and EBV but not against HSV-1, HSV-2, VZV, HHV-6, or HHV-8. Plaque reduction assays performed on a variety of laboratory and clinical isolates of human CMV indicated that all strains, including those resistant to ganciclovir (GCV) and foscarnet, were sensitive to all three benzimidazole ribonucleosides, with mean 50% effective concentration values of about 1 to 5 microM compared to that of GCV at 6 microM. The toxicity of these compounds in tissue culture cells appeared to be similar to that observed with GCV. These results demonstrate that the benzimidazole ribonucleosides are active against human CMV and EBV and suggest that they may be useful for the treatment of infections caused by these herpesviruses.
    Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 08/2003; 47(7):2186-92. DOI:10.1128/AAC.47.7.2186-2192.2003 · 4.48 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

702 Citations
88.49 Total Impact Points


  • 2004–2013
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      • Department of Pediatrics
      Birmingham, Alabama, United States
  • 2011
    • Translational Genomics Research Institute
      Phoenix, Arizona, United States
  • 2009
    • Southern Research Institute
      Birmingham, Alabama, United States
  • 2005
    • VA San Diego Healthcare System
      San Diego, California, United States
  • 2003
    • University of Michigan
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 2000
    • Karmanos Cancer Institute
      Detroit, Michigan, United States