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1.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 681, 2022 Jul 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1927105

ABSTRACT

The transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2) primes the SARS-CoV-2 Spike (S) protein for host cell entry and represents a promising target for COVID-19 therapy. Here we describe the in silico development and in vitro characterization of peptidomimetic TMPRSS2 inhibitors. Molecular docking studies identified peptidomimetic binders of the TMPRSS2 catalytic site, which were synthesized and coupled to an electrophilic serine trap. The compounds inhibit TMPRSS2 while demonstrating good off-target selectivity against selected coagulation proteases. Lead candidates are stable in blood serum and plasma for at least ten days. Finally, we show that selected peptidomimetics inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Spike-driven pseudovirus entry and authentic SARS-CoV-2 infection with comparable efficacy as camostat mesylate. The peptidomimetic TMPRSS2 inhibitors also prevent entry of recent SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern Delta and Omicron BA.1. In sum, our study reports antivirally active and stable TMPRSS2 inhibitors with prospects for further preclinical and clinical development as antiviral agents against SARS-CoV-2 and other TMPRSS2-dependent viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Peptidomimetics , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Culture Techniques , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics
2.
Curr Med Chem ; 29(4): 635-665, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742086

ABSTRACT

Due to its fast international spread and substantial mortality, the coronavirus disease COVID-19 evolved to a global threat. Since there is currently no causative drug against this viral infection available, science is striving for new drugs and other approaches to treat the new disease. Studies have shown that the cell entry of coronaviruses into host cells takes place through the binding of the viral spike (S) protein to cell receptors. Priming of the S protein occurs via hydrolysis by different host proteases. The inhibition of these proteases could impair the processing of the S protein, thereby affecting the interaction with the host-cell receptors and preventing virus cell entry. Hence, inhibition of these proteases could be a promising strategy for treatment against SARSCoV- 2. In this review, we discuss the current state of the art of developing inhibitors against the entry proteases furin, the transmembrane serine protease type-II (TMPRSS2), trypsin, and cathepsin L.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Serine Proteases , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization
3.
Curr Med Chem ; 29(4): 635-665, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247734

ABSTRACT

Due to its fast international spread and substantial mortality, the coronavirus disease COVID-19 evolved to a global threat. Since there is currently no causative drug against this viral infection available, science is striving for new drugs and other approaches to treat the new disease. Studies have shown that the cell entry of coronaviruses into host cells takes place through the binding of the viral spike (S) protein to cell receptors. Priming of the S protein occurs via hydrolysis by different host proteases. The inhibition of these proteases could impair the processing of the S protein, thereby affecting the interaction with the host-cell receptors and preventing virus cell entry. Hence, inhibition of these proteases could be a promising strategy for treatment against SARSCoV- 2. In this review, we discuss the current state of the art of developing inhibitors against the entry proteases furin, the transmembrane serine protease type-II (TMPRSS2), trypsin, and cathepsin L.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Serine Proteases , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization
4.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 1726, 2021 03 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1142436

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 is a respiratory pathogen and primarily infects the airway epithelium. As our knowledge about innate immune factors of the respiratory tract against SARS-CoV-2 is limited, we generated and screened a peptide/protein library derived from bronchoalveolar lavage for inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 spike-driven entry. Analysis of antiviral fractions revealed the presence of α1-antitrypsin (α1AT), a highly abundant circulating serine protease inhibitor. Here, we report that α1AT inhibits SARS-CoV-2 entry at physiological concentrations and suppresses viral replication in cell lines and primary cells including human airway epithelial cultures. We further demonstrate that α1AT binds and inactivates the serine protease TMPRSS2, which enzymatically primes the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein for membrane fusion. Thus, the acute phase protein α1AT is an inhibitor of TMPRSS2 and SARS-CoV-2 entry, and may play an important role in the innate immune defense against the novel coronavirus. Our findings suggest that repurposing of α1AT-containing drugs has prospects for the therapy of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , alpha 1-Antitrypsin/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/blood , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/blood , Caco-2 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin G/blood , Molecular Docking Simulation , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
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