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Dalton Trans ; 50(35): 12226-12233, 2021 Sep 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358359


Numerous organic molecules are known to inhibit the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, (SC2Mpro), a key component in viral replication of the 2019 novel coronavirus. We explore the hypothesis that zinc ions, long used as a medicinal supplement and known to support immune function, bind to the SC2Mpro enzyme in combination with lipophilic tropolone and thiotropolone ligands, L, block substrate docking, and inhibit function. This study combines synthetic inorganic chemistry, in vitro protease activity assays, and computational modeling. While the ligands themselves have half maximal inhibition concentrations, IC50, for SC2Mpro in the 8-34 µM range, the IC50 values are ca. 100 nM for Zn(NO3)2 which are further enhanced in Zn-L combinations (59-97 nM). Isolation of the Zn(L)2 binary complexes and characterization of their ability to undergo ligand displacement is the basis for computational modeling of the chemical features of the enzyme inhibition. Blind docking onto the SC2Mpro enzyme surface using a modified Autodock4 protocol found preferential binding into the active site pocket. Such Zn-L combinations orient so as to permit dative bonding of Zn(L)+ to basic active site residues.

COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Tropolone/pharmacology , Zinc/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain/drug effects , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Humans , Ligands , Models, Molecular , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Tropolone/analogs & derivatives , Zinc/chemistry
Chem Commun (Camb) ; 57(67): 8352-8355, 2021 Aug 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1337131


By repurposing DNICs designed for other medicinal purposes, the possibility of protease inhibition was investigated in silico using AutoDock 4.2.6 (AD4) and in vitro via a FRET protease assay. AD4 was validated as a predictive computational tool for coordinatively unsaturated DNIC binding using the only known crystal structure of a protein-bound DNIC, PDB- (calculation RMSD = 1.77). From the in silico data the dimeric DNICs TGTA-RRE, [(µ-S-TGTA)Fe(NO)2]2 (TGTA = 1-thio-ß-d-glucose tetraacetate) and TG-RRE, [(µ-S-TG)Fe(NO)2]2 (TG = 1-thio-ß-d-glucose) were identified as promising leads for inhibition via coordinative inhibition at Cys-145 of the SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease (SC2Mpro). In vitro studies indicate inhibition of protease activity upon DNIC treatment, with an IC50 of 38 ± 2 µM for TGTA-RRE and 33 ± 2 µM for TG-RRE. This study presents a simple computational method for predicting DNIC-protein interactions; the in vitro study is consistent with in silico leads.

Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Iron/pharmacology , Nitrogen Oxides/pharmacology , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Enzyme Inhibitors/chemistry , Humans , Iron/chemistry , Models, Molecular , Molecular Structure , Nitrogen Oxides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology