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2.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6055, 2021 10 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475294

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus has become a global pandemic. 3CL protease is a virally encoded protein that is essential across a broad spectrum of coronaviruses with no close human analogs. PF-00835231, a 3CL protease inhibitor, has exhibited potent in vitro antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 as a single agent. Here we report, the design and characterization of a phosphate prodrug PF-07304814 to enable the delivery and projected sustained systemic exposure in human of PF-00835231 to inhibit coronavirus family 3CL protease activity with selectivity over human host protease targets. Furthermore, we show that PF-00835231 has additive/synergistic activity in combination with remdesivir. We present the ADME, safety, in vitro, and in vivo antiviral activity data that supports the clinical evaluation of PF-07304814 as a potential COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/administration & dosage , Indoles/administration & dosage , Leucine/administration & dosage , Pyrrolidinones/administration & dosage , Adenosine Monophosphate/administration & dosage , Adenosine Monophosphate/adverse effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacokinetics , Alanine/administration & dosage , Alanine/adverse effects , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacokinetics , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 229E, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus 229E, Human/enzymology , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/adverse effects , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/pharmacokinetics , Disease Models, Animal , Drug Design , Drug Synergism , Drug Therapy, Combination , HeLa Cells , Humans , Indoles/adverse effects , Indoles/pharmacokinetics , Infusions, Intravenous , Leucine/adverse effects , Leucine/pharmacokinetics , Mice , Pyrrolidinones/adverse effects , Pyrrolidinones/pharmacokinetics , SARS Virus/drug effects , SARS Virus/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Vero Cells
3.
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
4.
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
5.
Sci Signal ; 14(689)2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406596

ABSTRACT

Capping of viral messenger RNAs is essential for efficient translation, for virus replication, and for preventing detection by the host cell innate response system. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes the 2'-O-methyltransferase nsp16, which, when bound to the coactivator nsp10, uses S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) as a donor to transfer a methyl group to the first ribonucleotide of the mRNA in the final step of viral mRNA capping. Here, we provide biochemical and structural evidence that this reaction requires divalent cations, preferably Mn2+, and a coronavirus-specific four-residue insert. We determined the x-ray structures of the SARS-CoV-2 2'-O-methyltransferase (the nsp16-nsp10 heterodimer) in complex with its reaction substrates, products, and divalent metal cations. These structural snapshots revealed that metal ions and the insert stabilize interactions between the capped RNA and nsp16, resulting in the precise alignment of the ribonucleotides in the active site. Comparison of available structures of 2'-O-methyltransferases with capped RNAs from different organisms revealed that the four-residue insert unique to coronavirus nsp16 alters the backbone conformation of the capped RNA in the binding groove, thereby promoting catalysis. This insert is highly conserved across coronaviruses, and its absence in mammalian methyltransferases makes this region a promising site for structure-guided drug design of selective coronavirus inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA Caps/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Catalytic Domain , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Manganese/metabolism , Methylation , Methyltransferases/chemistry , Methyltransferases/genetics , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA Caps/chemistry , RNA Caps/genetics , RNA Stability , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , S-Adenosylmethionine/chemistry , S-Adenosylmethionine/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Signal Transduction , Substrate Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
6.
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
7.
J Infect Dis ; 224(Supplement_1): S1-S21, 2021 Jul 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263668

ABSTRACT

The NIH Virtual SARS-CoV-2 Antiviral Summit, held on 6 November 2020, was organized to provide an overview on the status and challenges in developing antiviral therapeutics for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), including combinations of antivirals. Scientific experts from the public and private sectors convened virtually during a live videocast to discuss severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) targets for drug discovery as well as the preclinical tools needed to develop and evaluate effective small-molecule antivirals. The goals of the Summit were to review the current state of the science, identify unmet research needs, share insights and lessons learned from treating other infectious diseases, identify opportunities for public-private partnerships, and assist the research community in designing and developing antiviral therapeutics. This report includes an overview of therapeutic approaches, individual panel summaries, and a summary of the discussions and perspectives on the challenges ahead for antiviral development.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Drug Development , Humans , National Institutes of Health (U.S.) , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , United States , Virus Replication/drug effects
8.
Nature ; 586(7827): 113-119, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-672174

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in 2019 has triggered an ongoing global pandemic of the severe pneumonia-like disease coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)1. The development of a vaccine is likely to take at least 12-18 months, and the typical timeline for approval of a new antiviral therapeutic agent can exceed 10 years. Thus, repurposing of known drugs could substantially accelerate the deployment of new therapies for COVID-19. Here we profiled a library of drugs encompassing approximately 12,000 clinical-stage or Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved small molecules to identify candidate therapeutic drugs for COVID-19. We report the identification of 100 molecules that inhibit viral replication of SARS-CoV-2, including 21 drugs that exhibit dose-response relationships. Of these, thirteen were found to harbour effective concentrations commensurate with probable achievable therapeutic doses in patients, including the PIKfyve kinase inhibitor apilimod2-4 and the cysteine protease inhibitors MDL-28170, Z LVG CHN2, VBY-825 and ONO 5334. Notably, MDL-28170, ONO 5334 and apilimod were found to antagonize viral replication in human pneumocyte-like cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, and apilimod also demonstrated antiviral efficacy in a primary human lung explant model. Since most of the molecules identified in this study have already advanced into the clinic, their known pharmacological and human safety profiles will enable accelerated preclinical and clinical evaluation of these drugs for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/analysis , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Drug Repositioning , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/cytology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/growth & development , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/analysis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Drug Synergism , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Humans , Hydrazones , Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells/cytology , Models, Biological , Morpholines/analysis , Morpholines/pharmacology , Pandemics , Pyrimidines , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2 , Small Molecule Libraries/analysis , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Triazines/analysis , Triazines/pharmacology , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
9.
ChemMedChem ; 15(11): 907-932, 2020 06 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-108817

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection is spreading at an alarming rate and has created an unprecedented health emergency around the globe. There is no effective vaccine or approved drug treatment against COVID-19 and other pathogenic coronaviruses. The development of antiviral agents is an urgent priority. Biochemical events critical to the coronavirus replication cycle provided a number of attractive targets for drug development. These include, spike protein for binding to host cell-surface receptors, proteolytic enzymes that are essential for processing polyproteins into mature viruses, and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase for RNA replication. There has been a lot of ground work for drug discovery and development against these targets. Also, high-throughput screening efforts have led to the identification of diverse lead structures, including natural product-derived molecules. This review highlights past and present drug discovery and medicinal-chemistry approaches against SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and COVID-19 targets. The review hopes to stimulate further research and will be a useful guide to the development of effective therapies against COVID-19 and other pathogenic coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Chemistry, Pharmaceutical/trends , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Drug Development , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Drug Discovery , Humans , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use
10.
Antiviral Res ; 174: 104661, 2020 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-15315

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus papain-like proteases (PLPs or PLpro), such as the one encoded in the genome of the infectious Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, have multiple enzymatic activities that promote viral infection. PLpro acts as a protease and processes the large coronavirus polyprotein for virus replication. PLpro also functions as both a deubiquitinating (DUB) and deISGylating (deISG) enzyme and removes ubiquitin (Ub) and interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) from cellular proteins. Both DUB and deISG activities are implicated in suppressing innate immune responses; however, the precise role of each activity in this process is still unclear due in part to the difficulties in separating each activity. In this study, we determine the first structure of MERS PLpro in complex with the full-length human ISG15 to a resolution of 2.3 Å. This structure and available structures of MERS PLpro-Ub complexes were used as molecular guides to design PLpro mutants that lack either or both DUB/deISG activities. We tested 13 different PLpro mutants for protease, DUB, and deISG activitites using fluorescence-based assays. Results show that we can selectively modulate DUB activity at amino acid positions 1649 and 1653 while mutation of Val1691 or His1652 of PLpro to a positive charged residue completely impairs both DUB/deISG activities. These mutant enzymes will provide new functional tools for delineating the importance of DUB versus deISG activity in virus-infected cells and may serve as potential candidates for attenuating the MERS virus in vivo for modified vaccine design efforts.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/enzymology , Ubiquitins/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/genetics , Cytokines/chemistry , Cytokines/genetics , Host-Parasite Interactions , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Protein Binding , Protein Processing, Post-Translational , Ubiquitin , Ubiquitins/chemistry , Ubiquitins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
11.
J Virol ; 94(11)2020 05 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-10361

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses express a multifunctional papain-like protease, termed papain-like protease 2 (PLP2). PLP2 acts as a protease that cleaves the viral replicase polyprotein and as a deubiquitinating (DUB) enzyme which removes ubiquitin (Ub) moieties from ubiquitin-conjugated proteins. Previous in vitro studies implicated PLP2/DUB activity as a negative regulator of the host interferon (IFN) response, but the role of DUB activity during virus infection was unknown. Here, we used X-ray structure-guided mutagenesis and functional studies to identify amino acid substitutions within the ubiquitin-binding surface of PLP2 that reduced DUB activity without affecting polyprotein processing activity. We engineered a DUB mutation (Asp1772 to Ala) into a murine coronavirus and evaluated the replication and pathogenesis of the DUB mutant virus (DUBmut) in cultured macrophages and in mice. We found that the DUBmut virus replicates similarly to the wild-type (WT) virus in cultured cells, but the DUBmut virus activates an IFN response at earlier times compared to the wild-type virus infection in macrophages, consistent with DUB activity negatively regulating the IFN response. We compared the pathogenesis of the DUBmut virus to that of the wild-type virus and found that the DUBmut-infected mice had a statistically significant reduction (P < 0.05) in viral titer in liver and spleen at day 5 postinfection (d p.i.), although both wild-type and DUBmut virus infections resulted in similar liver pathology. Overall, this study demonstrates that structure-guided mutagenesis aids the identification of critical determinants of the PLP2-ubiquitin complex and that PLP2/DUB activity plays a role as an interferon antagonist in coronavirus pathogenesis.IMPORTANCE Coronaviruses employ a genetic economy by encoding multifunctional proteins that function in viral replication and also modify the host environment to disarm the innate immune response. The coronavirus papain-like protease 2 (PLP2) domain possesses protease activity, which cleaves the viral replicase polyprotein, and also DUB activity (deconjugating ubiquitin/ubiquitin-like molecules from modified substrates) using identical catalytic residues. To separate the DUB activity from the protease activity, we employed a structure-guided mutagenesis approach and identified residues that are important for ubiquitin binding. We found that mutating the ubiquitin-binding residues results in a PLP2 that has reduced DUB activity but retains protease activity. We engineered a recombinant murine coronavirus to express the DUB mutant and showed that the DUB mutant virus activated an earlier type I interferon response in macrophages and exhibited reduced replication in mice. The results of this study demonstrate that PLP2/DUB is an interferon antagonist and a virulence trait of coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/virology , Murine hepatitis virus/physiology , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Macrophages/immunology , Macrophages/metabolism , Macrophages/virology , Mice , Models, Molecular , Murine hepatitis virus/pathogenicity , Mutagenesis , Protein Conformation , Structure-Activity Relationship , Ubiquitination , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Virulence , Virus Replication
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