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Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1524167


The pandemic of COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 continues to spread despite the global efforts taken to control it. The 3C-like protease (3CLpro), the major protease of SARS-CoV-2, is one of the most interesting targets for antiviral drug development because it is highly conserved among SARS-CoVs and plays an important role in viral replication. Herein, we developed high throughput screening for SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitor based on AlphaScreen. We screened 91 natural product compounds and found that all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), an FDA-approved drug, inhibited 3CLpro activity. The 3CLpro inhibitory effect of ATRA was confirmed in vitro by both immunoblotting and AlphaScreen with a 50% inhibition concentration (IC50) of 24.7 ± 1.65 µM. ATRA inhibited the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in VeroE6/TMPRSS2 and Calu-3 cells, with IC50 = 2.69 ± 0.09 µM in the former and 0.82 ± 0.01 µM in the latter. Further, we showed the anti-SARS-CoV-2 effect of ATRA on the currently circulating variants of concern (VOC); alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. These results suggest that ATRA may be considered as a potential therapeutic agent against SARS-CoV-2.

Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Tretinoin/pharmacology , Animals , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , DEAD Box Protein 58/metabolism , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Receptors, Immunologic/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects