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Microorganisms ; 8(10)2020 Oct 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-890391

ABSTRACT

Favipiravir was initially developed as an antiviral drug against influenza and is currently used in clinical trials against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection (COVID-19). This agent is presumably involved in RNA chain termination during influenza virus replication, although the molecular interactions underlying its potential impact on the coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) remain unclear. We performed in silico studies to elucidate detailed molecular interactions between favipiravir and the SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and influenza virus RNA-dependent RNA polymerases (RdRp). As a result, no interactions between favipiravir ribofuranosyl-5'-triphosphate (F-RTP), the active form of favipiravir, and the active sites of RdRps (PB1 proteins) from influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 virus were found, yet the agent bound to the tunnel of the replication genome of PB1 protein leading to the inhibition of replicated RNA passage. In contrast, F-RTP bound to the active sites of coronavirus RdRp in the presence of the agent and RdRp. Further, the agent bound to the replicated RNA terminus in the presence of agent, magnesium ions, nucleotide triphosphate, and RdRp proteins. These results suggest that favipiravir exhibits distinct mechanisms of action against influenza virus and various coronaviruses.

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