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1.
ACS omega ; 7(36):31935-31944, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-2012338

ABSTRACT

The portfolio of SARS-CoV-2 small molecule drugs is currently limited to a handful that are either approved (remdesivir), emergency approved (dexamethasone, baricitinib, paxlovid, and molnupiravir), or in advanced clinical trials. Vandetanib is a kinase inhibitor which targets the vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR), the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), as well as the RET-tyrosine kinase. In the current study, it was tested in different cell lines and showed promising results on inhibition versus the toxic effect on A549-hACE2 cells (IC50 0.79 μM) while also showing a reduction of >3 log TCID50/mL for HCoV-229E. The in vivo efficacy of vandetanib was assessed in a mouse model of SARS-CoV-2 infection and statistically significantly reduced the levels of IL-6, IL-10, and TNF-α and mitigated inflammatory cell infiltrates in the lungs of infected animals but did not reduce viral load. Vandetanib also decreased CCL2, CCL3, and CCL4 compared to the infected animals. Vandetanib additionally rescued the decreased IFN-1β caused by SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice to levels similar to that in uninfected animals. Our results indicate that the FDA-approved anticancer drug vandetanib is worthy of further assessment as a potential therapeutic candidate to block the COVID-19 cytokine storm.

2.
ACS omega ; 7(32):27950-27958, 2022.
Article in English | EuropePMC | ID: covidwho-1989935

ABSTRACT

Finding antivirals for SARS-CoV-2 is still a major challenge, and many computational and experimental approaches have been employed to find a solution to this problem. While the global vaccination campaigns are the primary driver of controlling the current pandemic, orally bioavailable small-molecule drugs and biologics are critical to overcome this global issue. Improved therapeutics and prophylactics are required to treat people with circulating and emerging new variants, addressing severe infection, and people with underlying or immunocompromised conditions. The SARS-CoV-2 envelope spike is a challenging target for viral entry inhibitors. Pindolol presented a good docking score in a previous virtual screening using computational docking calculations after screening a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drug library of 2400 molecules as potential candidates to block the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein interaction with the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE-2). Here, we expanded the computational evaluation to identify five beta-blockers against SARS-CoV-2 using several techniques, such as microscale thermophoresis, NanoDSF, and in vitro assays in different cell lines. These data identified carvedilol with a Kd of 364 ± 22 nM for the SARS-CoV-2 spike and in vitro activity (EC50 of 7.57 μM, CC50 of 18.07 μM) against SARS-CoV-2 in Calu-3 cells. We have shown how we can apply multiple computational and experimental approaches to find molecules that can be further optimized to improve anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity.

3.
ACS Infect Dis ; 8(6): 1147-1160, 2022 06 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1860283

ABSTRACT

There are currently relatively few small-molecule antiviral drugs that are either approved or emergency-approved for use against severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). One of these is remdesivir, which was originally repurposed from its use against Ebola. We evaluated three molecules we had previously identified computationally with antiviral activity against Ebola and Marburg and identified pyronaridine, which inhibited the SARS-CoV-2 replication in A549-ACE2 cells. The in vivo efficacy of pyronaridine has now been assessed in a K18-hACE transgenic mouse model of COVID-19. Pyronaridine treatment demonstrated a statistically significant reduction of viral load in the lungs of SARS-CoV-2-infected mice, reducing lung pathology, which was also associated with significant reduction in the levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines/chemokine and cell infiltration. Pyronaridine inhibited the viral PLpro activity in vitro (IC50 of 1.8 µM) without any effect on Mpro, indicating a possible molecular mechanism involved in its ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication. We have also generated several pyronaridine analogs to assist in understanding the structure activity relationship for PLpro inhibition. Our results indicate that pyronaridine is a potential therapeutic candidate for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/drug therapy , Mice , Naphthyridines , SARS-CoV-2
4.
J Chem Inf Model ; 61(9): 4224-4235, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1356531

ABSTRACT

With the rapidly evolving SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, there is an urgent need for the discovery of further treatments for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Drug repurposing is one of the most rapid strategies for addressing this need, and numerous compounds have already been selected for in vitro testing by several groups. These have led to a growing database of molecules with in vitro activity against the virus. Machine learning models can assist drug discovery through prediction of the best compounds based on previously published data. Herein, we have implemented several machine learning methods to develop predictive models from recent SARS-CoV-2 in vitro inhibition data and used them to prioritize additional FDA-approved compounds for in vitro testing selected from our in-house compound library. From the compounds predicted with a Bayesian machine learning model, lumefantrine, an antimalarial was selected for testing and showed limited antiviral activity in cell-based assays while demonstrating binding (Kd 259 nM) to the spike protein using microscale thermophoresis. Several other compounds which we prioritized have since been tested by others and were also found to be active in vitro. This combined machine learning and in vitro testing approach can be expanded to virtually screen available molecules with predicted activity against SARS-CoV-2 reference WIV04 strain and circulating variants of concern. In the process of this work, we have created multiple iterations of machine learning models that can be used as a prioritization tool for SARS-CoV-2 antiviral drug discovery programs. The very latest model for SARS-CoV-2 with over 500 compounds is now freely available at www.assaycentral.org.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Bayes Theorem , Humans , Machine Learning , Molecular Docking Simulation
5.
Curr Opin Chem Biol ; 65: 74-84, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1312961

ABSTRACT

Drug repurposing aims to find new uses for already existing and approved drugs. We now provide a brief overview of recent developments in drug repurposing using machine learning alongside other computational approaches for comparison. We also highlight several applications for cancer using kinase inhibitors, Alzheimer's disease as well as COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Alzheimer Disease/drug therapy , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Repositioning/trends , Machine Learning , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Clemastine/pharmacology , Computational Biology/methods , Dipyridamole/pharmacology , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Lenalidomide/pharmacology , Neuroprotective Agents/therapeutic use , Piperazines/pharmacology , Piperidines/pharmacology , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology
6.
ACS Omega ; 6(11): 7454-7468, 2021 Mar 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1155692

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a newly identified virus that has resulted in over 2.5 million deaths globally and over 116 million cases globally in March, 2021. Small-molecule inhibitors that reverse disease severity have proven difficult to discover. One of the key approaches that has been widely applied in an effort to speed up the translation of drugs is drug repurposing. A few drugs have shown in vitro activity against Ebola viruses and demonstrated activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vivo. Most notably, the RNA polymerase targeting remdesivir demonstrated activity in vitro and efficacy in the early stage of the disease in humans. Testing other small-molecule drugs that are active against Ebola viruses (EBOVs) would appear a reasonable strategy to evaluate their potential for SARS-CoV-2. We have previously repurposed pyronaridine, tilorone, and quinacrine (from malaria, influenza, and antiprotozoal uses, respectively) as inhibitors of Ebola and Marburg viruses in vitro in HeLa cells and mouse-adapted EBOV in mice in vivo. We have now tested these three drugs in various cell lines (VeroE6, Vero76, Caco-2, Calu-3, A549-ACE2, HUH-7, and monocytes) infected with SARS-CoV-2 as well as other viruses (including MHV and HCoV 229E). The compilation of these results indicated considerable variability in antiviral activity observed across cell lines. We found that tilorone and pyronaridine inhibited the virus replication in A549-ACE2 cells with IC50 values of 180 nM and IC50 198 nM, respectively. We used microscale thermophoresis to test the binding of these molecules to the spike protein, and tilorone and pyronaridine bind to the spike receptor binding domain protein with K d values of 339 and 647 nM, respectively. Human Cmax for pyronaridine and quinacrine is greater than the IC50 observed in A549-ACE2 cells. We also provide novel insights into the mechanism of these compounds which is likely lysosomotropic.

7.
Drug Discov Today ; 25(5): 928-941, 2020 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-72302

ABSTRACT

In the past decade we have seen two major Ebola virus outbreaks in Africa, the Zika virus in Brazil and the Americas and the current pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). There is a strong sense of déjà vu because there are still no effective treatments. In the COVID-19 pandemic, despite being a new virus, there are already drugs suggested as active in in vitro assays that are being repurposed in clinical trials. Promising SARS-CoV-2 viral targets and computational approaches are described and discussed. Here, we propose, based on open antiviral drug discovery approaches for previous outbreaks, that there could still be gaps in our approach to drug discovery.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Drug Discovery , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Computer Simulation , Drug Repositioning , Hemorrhagic Fever, Ebola/drug therapy , Humans , In Vitro Techniques , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , SARS Virus , SARS-CoV-2 , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/drug therapy , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells , Zika Virus Infection/drug therapy
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