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1.
J Infect Chemother ; 2022 Apr 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1799832

ABSTRACT

The Omicron variant of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 has multiple amino acid mutations in its spike proteins, which may allow it to evade immunity elicited by vaccination. We examined the neutralising activity and S1-IgG titres in patients with breakthrough infections caused by the Omicron variant after two doses of vaccination. We found that neutralising activity was significantly lower for the Omicron variant than for the Wuhan strain. Two doses of vaccination might not induce sufficient neutralising activity for the Omicron variant.

2.
Molecules ; 26(19)2021 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438673

ABSTRACT

We report the design and synthesis of a series of new 5-chloropyridinyl esters of salicylic acid, ibuprofen, indomethacin, and related aromatic carboxylic acids for evaluation against SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease enzyme. These ester derivatives were synthesized using EDC in the presence of DMAP to provide various esters in good to excellent yields. Compounds are stable and purified by silica gel chromatography and characterized using 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, and mass spectral analysis. These synthetic derivatives were evaluated in our in vitro SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibition assay using authentic SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro enzyme. Compounds were also evaluated in our in vitro antiviral assay using quantitative VeroE6 cell-based assay with RNAqPCR. A number of compounds exhibited potent SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitory activity and antiviral activity. Compound 9a was the most potent inhibitor, with an enzyme IC50 value of 160 nM. Compound 13b exhibited an enzyme IC50 value of 4.9 µM. However, it exhibited a potent antiviral EC50 value of 24 µM in VeroE6 cells. Remdesivir, an RdRp inhibitor, exhibited an antiviral EC50 value of 2.4 µM in the same assay. We assessed the mode of inhibition using mass spectral analysis which suggested the formation of a covalent bond with the enzyme. To obtain molecular insight, we have created a model of compound 9a bound to SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro in the active site.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/chemistry , Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Esters/chemistry , Esters/pharmacology , Halogenation , Humans , Ibuprofen/analogs & derivatives , Ibuprofen/pharmacology , Indomethacin/analogs & derivatives , Indomethacin/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pyridines/chemistry , Pyridines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Salicylic Acid/chemistry , Salicylic Acid/pharmacology , Vero Cells
3.
J Med Chem ; 64(19): 14702-14714, 2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412442

ABSTRACT

Here, we report the synthesis, structure-activity relationship studies, enzyme inhibition, antiviral activity, and X-ray crystallographic studies of 5-chloropyridinyl indole carboxylate derivatives as a potent class of SARS-CoV-2 chymotrypsin-like protease inhibitors. Compound 1 exhibited a SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitory IC50 value of 250 nM and an antiviral EC50 value of 2.8 µM in VeroE6 cells. Remdesivir, an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitor, showed an antiviral EC50 value of 1.2 µM in the same assay. Compound 1 showed comparable antiviral activity with remdesivir in immunocytochemistry assays. Compound 7d with an N-allyl derivative showed the most potent enzyme inhibitory IC50 value of 73 nM. To obtain molecular insight into the binding properties of these molecules, X-ray crystal structures of compounds 2, 7b, and 9d-bound to SARS-CoV 3CLpro were determined, and their binding properties were compared.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Indoles/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/metabolism , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/chemistry , Alanine/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Indoles/chemical synthesis , Indoles/metabolism , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Pyridines/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 668, 2021 01 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387328

ABSTRACT

Except remdesivir, no specific antivirals for SARS-CoV-2 infection are currently available. Here, we characterize two small-molecule-compounds, named GRL-1720 and 5h, containing an indoline and indole moiety, respectively, which target the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro). We use VeroE6 cell-based assays with RNA-qPCR, cytopathic assays, and immunocytochemistry and show both compounds to block the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 with EC50 values of 15 ± 4 and 4.2 ± 0.7 µM for GRL-1720 and 5h, respectively. Remdesivir permitted viral breakthrough at high concentrations; however, compound 5h completely blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro without viral breakthrough or detectable cytotoxicity. Combination of 5h and remdesivir exhibits synergism against SARS-CoV-2. Additional X-ray structural analysis show that 5h forms a covalent bond with Mpro and makes polar interactions with multiple active site amino acid residues. The present data suggest that 5h might serve as a lead Mpro inhibitor for the development of therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Proteases/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Indoles/pharmacology , Pyridines/pharmacology , Vero Cells , Viral Proteases/metabolism
5.
EClinicalMedicine ; 32: 100734, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385450

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: To develop an effective vaccine against a novel viral pathogen, it is important to understand the longitudinal antibody responses against its first infection. Here we performed a longitudinal study of antibody responses against SARS-CoV-2 in symptomatic patients. METHODS: Sequential blood samples were collected from 39 individuals at various timepoints between 0 and 154 days after onset. IgG or IgM titers to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the S protein, the ectodomain of the S protein, and the N protein were determined by using an ELISA. Neutralizing antibody titers were measured by using a plaque reduction assay. FINDINGS: The IgG titers to the RBD of the S protein, the ectodomain of the S protein, and the N protein peaked at about 20 days after onset, gradually decreased thereafter, and were maintained for several months after onset. Extrapolation modeling analysis suggested that the IgG antibodies were maintained for this amount of time because the rate of reduction slowed after 30 days post-onset. IgM titers to the RBD decreased rapidly and disappeared in some individuals after 90 days post-onset. All patients, except one, possessed neutralizing antibodies against authentic SARS-CoV-2, which they retained at 90 days after onset. The highest antibody titers in patients with severe infections were higher than those in patients with mild or moderate infections, but the decrease in antibody titer in the severe infection cohort was more remarkable than that in the mild or moderate infection cohort. INTERPRETATION: Although the number of patients is limited, our results show that the antibody response against the first SARS-CoV-2 infection in symptomatic patients is typical of that observed in an acute viral infection. FUNDING: The Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development and the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

6.
mBio ; 12(4): e0209421, 2021 08 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1360546

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), encodes two proteases required for replication. The main protease (Mpro), encoded as part of two polyproteins, pp1a and pp1ab, is responsible for 11 different cleavages of these viral polyproteins to produce mature proteins required for viral replication. Mpro is therefore an attractive target for therapeutic interventions. Certain proteins in cells under oxidative stress undergo modification of reactive cysteines. We show Mpro is susceptible to glutathionylation, leading to inhibition of dimerization and activity. Activity of glutathionylated Mpro could be restored with reducing agents or glutaredoxin. Analytical studies demonstrated that glutathionylated Mpro primarily exists as a monomer and that modification of a single cysteine with glutathione is sufficient to block dimerization and inhibit its activity. Gel filtration studies as well as analytical ultracentrifugation confirmed that glutathionylated Mpro exists as a monomer. Tryptic and chymotryptic digestions of Mpro as well as experiments using a C300S Mpro mutant revealed that Cys300, which is located at the dimer interface, is a primary target of glutathionylation. Moreover, Cys300 is required for inhibition of activity upon Mpro glutathionylation. These findings indicate that Mpro dimerization and activity can be regulated through reversible glutathionylation of a non-active site cysteine, Cys300, which itself is not required for Mpro activity, and provides a novel target for the development of agents to block Mpro dimerization and activity. This feature of Mpro may have relevance to the pathophysiology of SARS-CoV-2 and related bat coronaviruses. IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is responsible for the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is imperative that we learn as much as we can about the biochemistry of the coronavirus proteins to inform development of therapy. One attractive target is the main protease (Mpro), a dimeric enzyme necessary for viral replication. Most work thus far developing Mpro inhibitors has focused on the active site. Our work has revealed a regulatory mechanism for Mpro activity through glutathionylation of a cysteine (Cys300) at the dimer interface, which can occur in cells under oxidative stress. Cys300 glutathionylation inhibits Mpro activity by blocking its dimerization. This provides a novel accessible and reactive target for drug development. Moreover, this process may have implications for disease pathophysiology in humans and bats. It may be a mechanism by which SARS-CoV-2 has evolved to limit replication and avoid killing host bats when they are under oxidative stress during flight.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine/chemistry , Glutathione/chemistry , Protein Multimerization , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/pathology , Chiroptera/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Dimerization , Glutaredoxins/metabolism , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
7.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(27)2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1276013

ABSTRACT

The spike (S) protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) plays a key role in viral infectivity. It is also the major antigen stimulating the host's protective immune response, specifically, the production of neutralizing antibodies. Recently, a new variant of SARS-CoV-2 possessing multiple mutations in the S protein, designated P.1, emerged in Brazil. Here, we characterized a P.1 variant isolated in Japan by using Syrian hamsters, a well-established small animal model for the study of SARS-CoV-2 disease (COVID-19). In hamsters, the variant showed replicative abilities and pathogenicity similar to those of early and contemporary strains (i.e., SARS-CoV-2 bearing aspartic acid [D] or glycine [G] at position 614 of the S protein). Sera and/or plasma from convalescent patients and BNT162b2 messenger RNA vaccinees showed comparable neutralization titers across the P.1 variant, S-614D, and S-614G strains. In contrast, the S-614D and S-614G strains were less well recognized than the P.1 variant by serum from a P.1-infected patient. Prior infection with S-614D or S-614G strains efficiently prevented the replication of the P.1 variant in the lower respiratory tract of hamsters upon reinfection. In addition, passive transfer of neutralizing antibodies to hamsters infected with the P.1 variant or the S-614G strain led to reduced virus replication in the lower respiratory tract. However, the effect was less pronounced against the P.1 variant than the S-614G strain. These findings suggest that the P.1 variant may be somewhat antigenically different from the early and contemporary strains of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Virus Replication , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing , COVID-19/diagnostic imaging , COVID-19/pathology , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunogenicity, Vaccine , Lung/pathology , Mesocricetus , Mice , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , X-Ray Microtomography
8.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 5563, 2021 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1125955

ABSTRACT

While there are various attempts to administer COVID-19-convalescent plasmas to SARS-CoV-2-infected patients, neither appropriate approach nor clinical utility has been established. We examined the presence and temporal changes of the neutralizing activity of IgG fractions from 43 COVID-19-convalescent plasmas using cell-based assays with multiple endpoints. IgG fractions from 27 cases (62.8%) had significant neutralizing activity and moderately to potently inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in cell-based assays; however, no detectable neutralizing activity was found in 16 cases (37.2%). Approximately half of the patients (~ 41%), who had significant neutralizing activity, lost the neutralization activity within ~ 1 month. Despite the rapid decline of neutralizing activity in plasmas, good amounts of SARS-CoV-2-S1-binding antibodies were persistently seen. The longer exposure of COVID-19 patients to greater amounts of SARS-CoV-2 elicits potent immune response to SARS-CoV-2, producing greater neutralization activity and SARS-CoV-2-S1-binding antibody amounts. The dilution of highly-neutralizing plasmas with poorly-neutralizing plasmas relatively readily reduced neutralizing activity. The presence of good amounts of SARS-CoV-2-S1-binding antibodies does not serve as a surrogate ensuring the presence of good neutralizing activity. In selecting good COVID-19-convalescent plasmas, quantification of neutralizing activity in each plasma sample before collection and use is required.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Immunization, Passive/methods , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics/prevention & control , Plasma/chemistry , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
9.
Viruses ; 12(12)2020 12 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-970091

ABSTRACT

Reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR)-based tests are widely used to diagnose coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As a result that these tests cannot be done in local clinics where RT-qPCR testing capability is lacking, rapid antigen tests (RATs) for COVID-19 based on lateral flow immunoassays are used for rapid diagnosis. However, their sensitivity compared with each other and with RT-qPCR and infectious virus isolation has not been examined. Here, we compared the sensitivity among four RATs by using severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) isolates and several types of COVID-19 patient specimens and compared their sensitivity with that of RT-qPCR and infectious virus isolation. Although the RATs read the samples containing large amounts of virus as positive, even the most sensitive RAT read the samples containing small amounts of virus as negative. Moreover, all RATs tested failed to detect viral antigens in several specimens from which the virus was isolated. The current RATs will likely miss some COVID-19 patients who are shedding infectious SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/analysis , COVID-19 Serological Testing/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , Point-of-Care Systems , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , False Negative Reactions , Humans , Immunoassay , Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Specimen Handling
10.
mBio ; 11(4)2020 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724620

ABSTRACT

We assessed various newly generated compounds that target the main protease (Mpro) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and various previously known compounds reportedly active against SARS-CoV-2, employing RNA quantitative PCR (RNA-qPCR), cytopathicity assays, and immunocytochemistry. Here, we show that two indole-chloropyridinyl-ester derivatives, GRL-0820 and GRL-0920, exerted potent activity against SARS-CoV-2 in cell-based assays performed using VeroE6 cells and TMPRSS2-overexpressing VeroE6 cells. While GRL-0820 and the nucleotide analog remdesivir blocked SARS-CoV-2 infection, viral breakthrough occurred. No significant anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity was found for several compounds reportedly active against SARS-CoV-2 such as lopinavir, nelfinavir, nitazoxanide, favipiravir, and hydroxychroloquine. In contrast, GRL-0920 exerted potent activity against SARS-CoV-2 (50% effective concentration [EC50] = 2.8 µM) and dramatically reduced the infectivity, replication, and cytopathic effect of SARS-CoV-2 without significant toxicity as examined with immunocytochemistry. Structural modeling shows that indole and chloropyridinyl of the derivatives interact with two catalytic dyad residues of Mpro, Cys145 and His41, resulting in covalent bonding, which was verified using high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (HPLC/MS), suggesting that the indole moiety is critical for the anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of the derivatives. GRL-0920 might serve as a potential therapeutic for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and might be optimized to generate more-potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 compounds.IMPORTANCE Targeting the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2, we identified two indole-chloropyridinyl-ester derivatives, GRL-0820 and GRL-0920, active against SARS-CoV-2, employing RNA-qPCR and immunocytochemistry and show that the two compounds exerted potent activity against SARS-CoV-2. While GRL-0820 and remdesivir blocked SARS-CoV-2 infection, viral breakthrough occurred as examined with immunocytochemistry. In contrast, GRL-0920 completely blocked the infectivity and cytopathic effect of SARS-CoV-2 without significant toxicity. Structural modeling showed that indole and chloropyridinyl of the derivatives interacted with two catalytic dyad residues of Mpro, Cys145 and His41, resulting in covalent bonding, which was verified using HPLC/MS. The present data should shed light on the development of therapeutics for COVID-19, and optimization of GRL-0920 based on the present data is essential to develop more-potent anti-SARS-CoV-2 compounds for treating COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Indoles/pharmacology , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/genetics , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Indoles/chemistry , Indoles/therapeutic use , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
11.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(28): 16587-16595, 2020 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-611003

ABSTRACT

At the end of 2019, a novel coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2; SARS-CoV-2) was detected in Wuhan, China, that spread rapidly around the world, with severe consequences for human health and the global economy. Here, we assessed the replicative ability and pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 isolates in Syrian hamsters. SARS-CoV-2 isolates replicated efficiently in the lungs of hamsters, causing severe pathological lung lesions following intranasal infection. In addition, microcomputed tomographic imaging revealed severe lung injury that shared characteristics with SARS-CoV-2-infected human lung, including severe, bilateral, peripherally distributed, multilobular ground glass opacity, and regions of lung consolidation. SARS-CoV-2-infected hamsters mounted neutralizing antibody responses and were protected against subsequent rechallenge with SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, passive transfer of convalescent serum to naïve hamsters efficiently suppressed the replication of the virus in the lungs even when the serum was administrated 2 d postinfection of the serum-treated hamsters. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that this Syrian hamster model will be useful for understanding SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis and testing vaccines and antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/blood , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Betacoronavirus/physiology , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Cricetinae , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Lung/virology , Mesocricetus , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Ribonucleoproteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication
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