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Int J Mol Sci ; 22(15)2021 Jul 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1350316


Increasing evidence suggests that elderly people with dementia are vulnerable to the development of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). In Alzheimer's disease (AD), the major form of dementia, ß-amyloid (Aß) levels in the blood are increased; however, the impact of elevated Aß levels on the progression of COVID-19 remains largely unknown. Here, our findings demonstrate that Aß1-42, but not Aß1-40, bound to various viral proteins with a preferentially high affinity for the spike protein S1 subunit (S1) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and the viral receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). These bindings were mainly through the C-terminal residues of Aß1-42. Furthermore, Aß1-42 strengthened the binding of the S1 of SARS-CoV-2 to ACE2 and increased the viral entry and production of IL-6 in a SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus infection model. Intriguingly, data from a surrogate mouse model with intravenous inoculation of Aß1-42 show that the clearance of Aß1-42 in the blood was dampened in the presence of the extracellular domain of the spike protein trimers of SARS-CoV-2, whose effects can be prevented by a novel anti-Aß antibody. In conclusion, these findings suggest that the binding of Aß1-42 to the S1 of SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2 may have a negative impact on the course and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further investigations are warranted to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and examine whether reducing the level of Aß1-42 in the blood is beneficial to the fight against COVID-19 and AD.

Amyloid beta-Peptides/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Peptide Fragments/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , A549 Cells , Alzheimer Disease/complications , Alzheimer Disease/metabolism , Amyloid beta-Peptides/chemistry , Animals , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mice, Transgenic , Peptide Fragments/chemistry , Protein Subunits/chemistry , Protein Subunits/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization
Antimicrob Agents Chemother ; 64(9)2020 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-646490


The coronavirus (CoV) disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a health threat worldwide. Viral main protease (Mpro, also called 3C-like protease [3CLpro]) is a therapeutic target for drug discovery. Herein, we report that GC376, a broad-spectrum inhibitor targeting Mpro in the picornavirus-like supercluster, is a potent inhibitor for the Mpro encoded by SARS-CoV-2, with a half-maximum inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 26.4 ± 1.1 nM. In this study, we also show that GC376 inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication with a half-maximum effective concentration (EC50) of 0.91 ± 0.03 µM. Only a small portion of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro was covalently modified in the excess of GC376 as evaluated by mass spectrometry analysis, indicating that improved inhibitors are needed. Subsequently, molecular docking analysis revealed that the recognition and binding groups of GC376 within the active site of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro provide important new information for the optimization of GC376. Given that sufficient safety and efficacy data are available for GC376 as an investigational veterinary drug, expedited development of GC376, or its optimized analogues, for treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection in human is recommended.

Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Pyrrolidines/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Amino Acid Motifs , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Catalytic Domain , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Endopeptidases/genetics , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Gene Expression , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Sulfonic Acids , Thermodynamics , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects