Lithiation of 5-bromo-2,4-bis(benzyloxy)pyrimidine (3) with n-BuLi at -80 °C followed by the addition of diphenyl diselenide or diphenyl disulfide as an electrophile furnished the corresponding 5-(phenylhetera)-2,4-bis(benzyloxy)pyrimidine, which on exposure to trimethylsilyl iodide in CH2-Cl2 at room temperature yielded the 5-(phenylhetera)uracils in 70–75% yield. Similarly, the 6-(phenylhetera)uracils were prepared from 6-bromo-2,4-bis(benzyloxy)pyrimidine (10). 1-[(2-Hydroxyethoxy)methyl]-5-(phenylselenenyl)uracil (PSAU, 18) and 1-(ethoxymethyl)-5-(phenylselenenyl)uracil (17) were synthesized by the electrophilic addition of benzeneselenenyl chloride to the acyclic uracils under basic conditions. These compounds were evaluated for their ability to inhibit dihydrouracil dehydrogenase (DHUDase, E.C. 220.127.116.11), orotate phosphoribosyltransferase (OPRTase, E.C. 18.104.22.168), uridine Phosphorylase (UrdPase, E.C. 22.214.171.124), and thymidine Phosphorylase (dThdPase, E.C. 126.96.36.199). 5-(Phenylselenenyl)uracil (PSU, 6) and 5-(phenylthio)uracil (PTU, 7) inhibited DHUDase with apparent Ki values of 4.8 and 5.4 µM, respectively. The corresponding 6-analogues, compounds 13 and 14, demonstrated inhibitory activity against OPRTase. PTU as well as PSU and its riboside, 2′-deoxyriboside, and acyclonucleosides were inhibitors of UrdPase, with PSAU (18) being the most potent with an apparent Ki value of 3.8 µM. None of the compounds evaluated had any effect on dThdPase. Interestingly, most of the compounds showed modest selective anti-human-immunodeficiency-virus activity in acutely infected primary human lymphocytes. © 1993, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.