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RSC Adv ; 11(26): 16026-16033, 2021 Apr 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1236099


In the present era, there are many efforts trying to face the emerging and successive waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. This has led to considering new and unusual targets for SARS CoV-2. 2'-O-Methyltransferase (nsp16) is a key and attractive target in the SARS CoV-2 life cycle since it is responsible for the viral RNA protection via a cap formation process. In this study, we propose a new potential inhibitor for SARS COV-2 2'-O-methyltransferase (nsp16). A fragment library was screened against the co-crystal structure of the SARS COV-2 2'-O-methyltransferase complexed with Sinefungin (nsp16 - PDB ID: 6WKQ), and consequently the best proposed fragments were linked via a de novo approach to build molecule AP-20. Molecule AP-20 displayed a superior docking score to Sinefungin and reproduced the key interactions in the binding site of 2'-O-methyltransferase. Three molecular dynamic simulations of the 2'-O-methyltransferase apo structure and its complexed forms with AP-20 and Sinefungin were performed for 150 nano-seconds to provide insights on the dynamic nature of such setups and to assess the stability of the proposed AP-20/enzyme complex. AP-20/enzyme complex demonstrated better stability for the ligand-enzyme complex compared to Sinefungin in a respective setup. Furthermore, MM-PBSA binding free energy calculations showed a better profile for AP-20/enzyme complex compared to Sinefungin/enzyme complex emphasizing the potential inhibitory effect of AP-20 on SARS COV-2 2'-O-methyltransferase. We endorse our designed molecule AP-20 to be further explored via experimental evaluations to confront the spread of the emerging COVID-19. Also, in silico ADME profiling has ascribed to AP-20 an excellent safety and metabolic stability profile.

J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem ; 36(1): 727-736, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1123193


The novel coronavirus disease COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS CoV-2, has exerted a significant unprecedented economic and medical crisis, in addition to its impact on the daily life and health care systems all over the world. Regrettably, no vaccines or drugs are currently available for this new critical emerging human disease. Joining the global fight against COVID-19, in this study we aim at identifying a potential novel inhibitor for SARS COV-2 2'-O-methyltransferase (nsp16) which is one of the most attractive targets in the virus life cycle, responsible for the viral RNA protection via a cap formation process. Firstly, nsp16 enzyme bound to Sinefungin was retrieved from the protein data bank (PDB ID: 6WKQ), then, a 3D pharmacophore model was constructed to be applied to screen 48 Million drug-like compounds of the Zinc database. This resulted in only 24 compounds which were subsequently docked into the enzyme. The best four score-ordered hits from the docking outcome exhibited better scores compared to Sinefungin. Finally, three molecular dynamics (MD) simulation experiments for 150 ns were carried out as a refinement step for our proposed approach. The MD and MM-PBSA outputs revealed compound 11 as the best potential nsp16 inhibitor herein identified, as it displayed a better stability and average binding free energy for the ligand-enzyme complex compared to Sinefungin.

Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Enzyme Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Adenosine/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine/chemistry , Adenosine/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Binding Sites , Crystallography, X-Ray , Databases, Pharmaceutical , Databases, Protein , Drug Stability , Enzyme Inhibitors/metabolism , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Kinetics , Methyltransferases , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Thermodynamics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors