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J Med Chem ; 65(8): 6231-6249, 2022 04 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1867997


Enzymes involved in RNA capping of SARS-CoV-2 are essential for the stability of viral RNA, translation of mRNAs, and virus evasion from innate immunity, making them attractive targets for antiviral agents. In this work, we focused on the design and synthesis of nucleoside-derived inhibitors against the SARS-CoV-2 nsp14 (N7-guanine)-methyltransferase (N7-MTase) that catalyzes the transfer of the methyl group from the S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) cofactor to the N7-guanosine cap. Seven compounds out of 39 SAM analogues showed remarkable double-digit nanomolar inhibitory activity against the N7-MTase nsp14. Molecular docking supported the structure-activity relationships of these inhibitors and a bisubstrate-based mechanism of action. The three most potent inhibitors significantly stabilized nsp14 (ΔTm ≈ 11 °C), and the best inhibitor demonstrated high selectivity for nsp14 over human RNA N7-MTase.

COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Exoribonucleases/antagonists & inhibitors , Exoribonucleases/chemistry , Humans , Methyltransferases , Molecular Docking Simulation , RNA, Viral/genetics , S-Adenosylmethionine , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Sulfonamides/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry
Eur J Med Chem ; 201: 112557, 2020 Sep 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-597389


The spreading of new viruses is known to provoke global human health threat. The current COVID-19 pandemic caused by the recently emerged coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is one significant and unfortunate example of what the world will have to face in the future with emerging viruses in absence of appropriate treatment. The discovery of potent and specific antiviral inhibitors and/or vaccines to fight these massive outbreaks is an urgent research priority. Enzymes involved in the capping pathway of viruses and more specifically RNA N7- or 2'O-methyltransferases (MTases) are now admitted as potential targets for antiviral chemotherapy. We designed bisubstrate inhibitors by mimicking the transition state of the 2'-O-methylation of the cap RNA in order to block viral 2'-O MTases. This work resulted in the synthesis of 16 adenine dinucleosides with both adenosines connected by various nitrogen-containing linkers. Unexpectedly, all the bisubstrate compounds were barely active against 2'-O MTases of several flaviviruses or SARS-CoV but surprisingly, seven of them showed efficient and specific inhibition against SARS-CoV N7-MTase (nsp14) in the micromolar to submicromolar range. The most active nsp14 inhibitor identified is as potent as but particularly more specific than the broad-spectrum MTase inhibitor, sinefungin. Molecular docking suggests that the inhibitor binds to a pocket formed by the S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) and cap RNA binding sites, conserved among SARS-CoV nsp14. These dinucleoside SAM analogs will serve as starting points for the development of next inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 nsp14 N7-MTase.

Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Exoribonucleases/antagonists & inhibitors , Methyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , Nucleosides/chemistry , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , RNA Caps/metabolism , S-Adenosylmethionine/analogs & derivatives , S-Adenosylmethionine/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Adenine/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Exoribonucleases/metabolism , Humans , Methylation , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , RNA Caps/chemistry , RNA Caps/genetics , RNA, Viral/genetics , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism