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1.
J King Saud Univ Sci ; 34(6): 102155, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1882239

ABSTRACT

Platycodon grandiflorus (Jacq.) A. DC. (Campanulaceae) is commonly known as a balloon flower whose rhizomes have been widely utilized in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and in various Japanese prescriptions for the treatment of respiratory diseases, diabetes, and inflammatory disorders. The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic requires priming of the virus's spike (S) protein by cleavage of the S proteins by a multi-domain type II transmembrane serine protease, transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) to gain entry into the host cell. The current research aims at the screening of active phytocompounds of P. grandiflorus as potential inhibitors of cellular TMPRSS2 using molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations approach. In silico toxicity analyses show that out of a total of 34 phytocompounds selected for the study, 12 compounds obey Lipinski's rule of five and have favourable pharmacokinetic properties. The top three lead molecules identified here were Apigenin, Luteolin and Ferulic acid which exhibited binding energies of -7.47 kcal/mol, -6.8 kcal/mol and -6.62 kcal/mol respectively with corresponding inhibition constants of 3.33 µM, 10.39 µM and 13.95 µM. The complexes between the lead molecules and the receptor were held by hydrogen bond interactions with key residues such as Gly383, Gly385, Glu389, Lys390, Asp435, Ser436, Ser441, Cys465 and Lys467, and hydrophobic interactions with surrounding residues. The stability of the protein-ligand complexes was evaluated during 100 ns molecular dynamics (MD) simulation by analysing key geometric properties such as RMSD, RMSF, radius of gyration, total solvent accessible surface area and the number of hydrogen bonds. The binding free energies analysis using MD simulations revealed that the compounds and TMPRSS2 have favourable thermodynamic interactions, which are primarily driven by van der Waals forces. As a result, the selected bioactive phytochemicals from P. grandiflorus that target the cellular TMPRSS2 could offer an alternative treatment option against SARS-CoV-2 infections.

2.
PLoS One ; 17(6): e0268919, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1879310

ABSTRACT

The appearance of new variants of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the lack of effective antiviral therapeutics for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a highly infectious disease caused by the virus, demands the search for alternative therapies. Most antiviral drugs known are passive defenders which must enter the cell to execute their function and suffer from concerns such as permeability and effectiveness, therefore in this current study, we aim to identify peptide inactivators that can act without entering the cells. SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is an essential protein that plays a major role in binding to the host receptor angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and mediates the viral cell membrane fusion process. SARS vaccines and treatments have also been developed with the spike protein as a target. The virtual screening experiment revealed antiviral peptides which were found to be non-allergen, non-toxic and possess good water solubility. U-1, GST-removed-HR2 and HR2-18 exhibit binding energies of -47.8 kcal/mol, -43.01 kcal/mol, and -40.46 kcal/mol, respectively. The complexes between these peptides and spike protein were stabilized through hydrogen bonds as well as hydrophobic interactions. The stability of the top-ranked peptide with the drug-receptor is evidenced by 50-ns molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. The binding of U-1 induces conformational changes in the spike protein with alterations in its geometric properties such as increased flexibility, decreased compactness, the increased surface area exposed to solvent molecules, and an increase in the number of total hydrogen bonds leading to its probable inactivation. Thus, the identified antiviral peptides can be used as anti-SARS-CoV-2 candidates, inactivating the virus's spike proteins and preventing it from infecting host cells.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptides/metabolism , Peptides/pharmacology , Protein Binding , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
3.
J King Saud Univ Sci ; 34(2): 101773, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1670766

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has rapidly spread around the world jeopardizing the global economy and health. The rapid proliferation and infectivity of the virus can be attributed to many accumulating mutations in the spike protein leading to continuous generation of variants. The spike protein is a glycoprotein that recognizes and binds to cell surface receptor known as angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) leading to the fusion of the viral and host cell membranes and entry into the host cells. These circulating variants in the population have greatly impacted the virulence, transmissibility, and immunological evasion of the host. The present study is aimed at understanding the impact of the major mutations (L452R, T478K and N501Y) in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of spike protein and their consequences on the binding affinity to human ACE2 through protein-protein docking and molecular dynamics simulation approaches. Protein-protein docking and Molecular mechanics with generalised Born and surface area solvation (MM/GBSA) binding free energy analysis reveal that the spike mutants-L452R, T478K and N501Y have a higher binding affinity to human ACE2 as compared to the native spike protein. The increase in the number of interface residues, interface area and intermolecular forces such as hydrogen bonds, salt bridges and non-bonded contacts corroborated with the increase in the binding affinity of the spike mutants to ACE2. Further, 75 ns all-atom molecular dynamics simulation investigations show variations in the geometric properties such as root mean square deviation (RMSD), radius of gyration (Rg), total solvent accessible surface area (SASA) and number of hydrogen bonds (NHBs) in the mutant spike:ACE2 complexes with respect to the native spike:ACE2 complex. Therefore, the findings of this study unravel plausible molecular mechanisms of increase in binding affinity of spike mutants (L452R, T478K and N501Y) to human ACE2 leading to higher virulence and infectivity of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. The study will further aid in designing novel therapeutics targeting the interface residues between spike protein and ACE2 receptor.

4.
J King Saud Univ Sci ; : 101810, 2022 Jan 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587215

ABSTRACT

The need for novel antiviral treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues with the widespread infections and fatalities throughout the world. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of the deadly disease, relies on the non-structural protein Nsp1 for multiplication within the host cells and disarms the host immune defences by various mechanisms. Herein, we investigated the potential of artemisinin and its derivatives as possible inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Nsp1 through various computational approaches. Molecular docking results show that artemisinin (CID68827) binds to Nsp1 with a binding energy of -6.53 kcal/mol and an inhibition constant of 16.43 µM. The top 3 derivatives Artesunate (CID6917864), Artemiside (CID53323323) and Artemisone (CID11531457) show binding energies of -7.92 kcal/mol, -7.46 kcal/mol and -7.36 kcal/mol respectively. Hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonding with Val10, Arg11, and Gln50 helped to stabilize the protein-ligand complexes. The pharmacokinetic properties of these molecules show acceptable properties. The geometric parameters derived from large-scale MD simulation studies provided insights into the changes in the structural topology of Nsp1 upon binding of Artesunate. Thus, the findings of our research highlight the importance of artemisinin and its derivatives in the development of drugs to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Nsp1 protein.

5.
Saudi J Biol Sci ; 29(1): 53-64, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415785

ABSTRACT

Human serum albumin (HSA) is the most prevalent protein in the blood plasma which binds an array of exogenous compounds. Drug binding to HSA is an important consideration when developing new therapeutic molecules, and it also aids in understanding the underlying mechanisms that govern their pharmacological effects. This study aims to investigate the molecular binding of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) therapeutic candidate molecules to HSA and to identify their putative binding sites. Binding energies and interacting residues were used to evaluate the molecular interaction. Four drug candidate molecules (ß-D-N4-hydroxycytidine, Chloroquine, Disulfiram, and Carmofur) demonstrate weak binding to HSA, with binding energies ranging from -5 to -6.7 kcal/mol. Ivermectin, Hydroxychloroquine, Remdesivir, Arbidol, and other twenty drug molecules with binding energies ranging from -6.9 to -9.5 kcal/mol demonstrated moderate binding to HSA. The strong HSA binding drug candidates consist of fourteen molecules (Saquinavir, Ritonavir, Dihydroergotamine, Daclatasvir, Paritaprevir etc.) with binding energies ranging from -9.7 to -12.1 kcal/mol. All these molecules bind to different HSA subdomains (IA, IB, IIA, IIB, IIIA, and IIIB) through molecular forces such as hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions. Various pharmacokinetic properties (gastrointestinal absorption, blood-brain barrier permeation, P-glycoprotein substrate, and cytochrome P450 inhibitor) of each molecule were determined using SwissADME program. Further, the stability of the HSA-ligand complexes was analyzed through 100 ns molecular dynamics simulations considering various geometric properties. The binding free energy between free HSA and compounds were calculated using Molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM/PBSA) and molecular mechanics generalized Born surface area (MM/GBSA) approach. The findings of this study might be useful in understanding the mechanism of COVID-19 drug candidates binding to serum albumin protein, as well as their pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics.

6.
Biomed Res Int ; 2021: 8853056, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288478

ABSTRACT

The recent outbreak of the deadly coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic poses serious health concerns around the world. The lack of approved drugs or vaccines continues to be a challenge and further necessitates the discovery of new therapeutic molecules. Computer-aided drug design has helped to expedite the drug discovery and development process by minimizing the cost and time. In this review article, we highlight two important categories of computer-aided drug design (CADD), viz., the ligand-based as well as structured-based drug discovery. Various molecular modeling techniques involved in structure-based drug design are molecular docking and molecular dynamic simulation, whereas ligand-based drug design includes pharmacophore modeling, quantitative structure-activity relationship (QSARs), and artificial intelligence (AI). We have briefly discussed the significance of computer-aided drug design in the context of COVID-19 and how the researchers continue to rely on these computational techniques in the rapid identification of promising drug candidate molecules against various drug targets implicated in the pathogenesis of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The structural elucidation of pharmacological drug targets and the discovery of preclinical drug candidate molecules have accelerated both structure-based as well as ligand-based drug design. This review article will help the clinicians and researchers to exploit the immense potential of computer-aided drug design in designing and identification of drug molecules and thereby helping in the management of fatal disease.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Artificial Intelligence , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Design , Drug Discovery , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation
7.
Curr Pharm Biotechnol ; 23(7): 959-969, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1259293

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: There has been tremendous pressure on healthcare facilities globally due to the recent emergence of novel coronavirus infection known as COVID-19 and its rapid spread across the continents. The lack of effective therapeutics for the management of the pandemic calls for the discovery of new drugs and vaccines. OBJECTIVE: In the present study, a chemical library was screened for molecules against three coronavirus 3CL-like protease enzymes (SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro, SARS-CoV 3CLpro and MERS-CoV 3CLpro), which are a key player in the viral replication cycle. METHODS: Extensive computational methods such as virtual screening and molecular docking were employed in this study. RESULTS: Two lead molecules, ZINC08825480 (4-bromo-N'-{(E)-[1-phenyl-3-(pyridin-3-yl)-1H-pyrazol- 4-yl]methylidene}benzene-1-sulfonohydrazide) and ZINC72009942 (N-[[2-[[(3S)-3-methyl-1-piperidyl] methyl]phenyl]methyl]-6-oxo-1-(p-tolyl)-4,5-dihydro-1,2,4-triazine-3-carboxamide), were identified with better affinity with the three target enzymes as compared to the approved antiviral drugs. Both the lead molecules possessed favorable drug-like properties, fit well into the active site pocket close to His- Cys dyad and showed a good number of hydrogen bonds with the backbone as well as side chains of key amino acid residues. CONCLUSION: Thus, the present study offers two novel chemical entities against coronavirus infections which can be validated through various biological assays.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptide Hydrolases/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
8.
J Infect Public Health ; 14(2): 227-237, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-988410

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a fatal infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The virus infection is initiated upon recognition and binding of the spike (S) protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) to the host cell surface receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Blocking the interaction between S protein and ACE2 receptor is a novel approach to prevent the viral entry into the host cell. The present study is aimed at the identification of small molecules which can disrupt the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 S protein and human ACE2 receptor by binding to the interface region. A chemical library consisting of 1,36,191 molecules were screened for drug-like compounds based on Lipinski's rule of five, Verber's rule and in silico toxicity parameters. The filtered drug-like molecules were next subjected to molecular docking in the interface region of RBD. The best three hits viz; ZINC64023823, ZINC33039472 and ZINC00991597 were further taken for molecular dynamics (MD) simulation studies and binding free energy evaluations using Molecular mechanics-Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MM-PBSA) and Molecular mechanics-Generalized Born surface area (MM-GBSA). The protein-ligand complexes showed stable trajectories throughout the simulation time. ZINC33039472 exhibited binding free energy value lower as compared to the control (emodin) with a higher contribution by gas-phase energy and van der Waals energy to the total binding free energy. Thus, ZINC33039472 is identified to be a promising interfacial binding molecule which can inhibit the interaction between the viral S protein and human ACE2 receptor which would consequently help in the management of the disease.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Virus Internalization/drug effects , COVID-19 , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Binding , Protein Domains
9.
Saudi J Biol Sci ; 28(2): 1426-1432, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-955932

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) is a well-characterized therapeutic target which is a key player driving the viral replication and transcription machinery. The recent elucidation of the experimental structure of SARS-CoV-2 RdRp enzyme complexed with triphosphate form of Remdesivir (RTP) has opened an avenue for structure-based identification of potent inhibitors. Given the high mortality rate of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and lack of effective therapeutics against it, an alternative for safe and speedy drug discovery needs to be sought after. One promising strategy could be to explore the possibility for repurposing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved antiviral drugs and antiviral phytocompounds. In the present study, a set of FDA approved antiviral drugs and antiviral phytocompounds were screened for their ability to bind within the RdRp enzyme active pocket. The top 3 hits among the FDA approved drugs were Paritaprevir (D33), Rilpivirine (D19) and Simeprevir (D31) which scored binding energies between -8.08 kcal/mol and -10.46 kcal/mol. Emetine (P5), 7,4-di-O-galloyltricetifavan (P28) and Oleanolic acid (P17) were the top three phytocompounds hits and exhibited binding energies ranging from -7.81 kcal/mol to -8.17 kcal/mol. These drugs and phytocompounds were able to establish hydrogen bonds with the catalytic residues-Asp760 and Asp761 and hydrophobic interactions with neighbouring residues. Further, the physicochemical properties of the molecules were evaluated. These identified potential inhibitors warrant further experimental investigations before their acceptance as drug candidates for the treatment of the disease.

10.
Saudi J Biol Sci ; 27(10): 2674-2682, 2020 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-592194

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses with the largest viral genomes are positive-sense RNA viruses associated with a history of global epidemics such as the severe respiratory syndrome (SARS), the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and recently the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). There has been no vaccines or drugs available for the treatment of human coronavirus infections to date. In the present study, we have explored the possibilities of FDA approved drugs as potential inhibitors of the coronavirus main protease, a therapeutically important drug target playing a salient role in the maturation and processing of the viral polyproteins and are vital for viral replication and transcription. We have used molecular docking approach and have successfully identified the best lead molecules for each enzyme target. Interestingly, the anti-migraine drugs such as ergotamine and its derivative, dihydroergotamine were found to bind to all the three target enzymes within the Cys-His catalytic dyad cleft with lower binding energies as compared to the control inhibitors (α-ketoamide 13b, SG85 and GC813) and the molecules are held within the pocket through a good number of hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions. Hence both these lead molecules can be further taken for wet-lab experimentation studies before repurposing them as anti-coronaviral drug candidates.

11.
Life Sci ; 255: 117831, 2020 Aug 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-365098

ABSTRACT

A new SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) belonging to the genus Betacoronavirus has caused a pandemic known as COVID-19. Among coronaviruses, the main protease (Mpro) is an essential drug target which, along with papain-like proteases catalyzes the processing of polyproteins translated from viral RNA and recognizes specific cleavage sites. There are no human proteases with similar cleavage specificity and therefore, inhibitors are highly likely to be nontoxic. Therefore, targeting the SARS-CoV-2 Mpro enzyme with small molecules can block viral replication. The present study is aimed at the identification of promising lead molecules for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro enzyme through virtual screening of antiviral compounds from plants. The binding affinity of selected small drug-like molecules to SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, SARS-CoV Mpro and MERS-CoV Mpro were studied using molecular docking. Bonducellpin D was identified as the best lead molecule which shows higher binding affinity (-9.28 kcal/mol) as compared to the control (-8.24 kcal/mol). The molecular binding was stabilized through four hydrogen bonds with Glu166 and Thr190 as well as hydrophobic interactions via eight residues. The SARS-CoV-2 Mpro shows identities of 96.08% and 50.65% to that of SARS-CoV Mpro and MERS-CoV Mpro respectively at the sequence level. At the structural level, the root mean square deviation (RMSD) between SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and SARS-CoV Mpro was found to be 0.517 Å and 0.817 Å between SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and MERS-CoV Mpro. Bonducellpin D exhibited broad-spectrum inhibition potential against SARS-CoV Mpro and MERS-CoV Mpro and therefore is a promising drug candidate, which needs further validations through in vitro and in vivo studies.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Amino Acid Sequence , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Computer Simulation , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
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