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1.
Elife ; 112022 06 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1903839

ABSTRACT

With the continual evolution of new strains of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) that are more virulent, transmissible, and able to evade current vaccines, there is an urgent need for effective anti-viral drugs. The SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) is a leading target for drug design due to its conserved and indispensable role in the viral life cycle. Drugs targeting Mpro appear promising but will elicit selection pressure for resistance. To understand resistance potential in Mpro, we performed a comprehensive mutational scan of the protease that analyzed the function of all possible single amino acid changes. We developed three separate high throughput assays of Mpro function in yeast, based on either the ability of Mpro variants to cleave at a defined cut-site or on the toxicity of their expression to yeast. We used deep sequencing to quantify the functional effects of each variant in each screen. The protein fitness landscapes from all three screens were strongly correlated, indicating that they captured the biophysical properties critical to Mpro function. The fitness landscapes revealed a non-active site location on the surface that is extremely sensitive to mutation, making it a favorable location to target with inhibitors. In addition, we found a network of critical amino acids that physically bridge the two active sites of the Mpro dimer. The clinical variants of Mpro were predominantly functional in our screens, indicating that Mpro is under strong selection pressure in the human population. Our results provide predictions of mutations that will be readily accessible to Mpro evolution and that are likely to contribute to drug resistance. This complete mutational guide of Mpro can be used in the design of inhibitors with reduced potential of evolving viral resistance.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Humans , Protease Inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Saccharomyces cerevisiae/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
2.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 3556, 2022 06 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900487

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses can evolve and spread rapidly to cause severe disease morbidity and mortality, as exemplified by SARS-CoV-2 variants of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although currently available vaccines remain mostly effective against SARS-CoV-2 variants, additional treatment strategies are needed. Inhibitors that target essential viral enzymes, such as proteases and polymerases, represent key classes of antivirals. However, clinical use of antiviral therapies inevitably leads to emergence of drug resistance. In this study we implemented a strategy to pre-emptively address drug resistance to protease inhibitors targeting the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2, an essential enzyme that promotes viral maturation. We solved nine high-resolution cocrystal structures of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro bound to substrate peptides and six structures with cleavage products. These structures enabled us to define the substrate envelope of Mpro, map the critical recognition elements, and identify evolutionarily vulnerable sites that may be susceptible to resistance mutations that would compromise binding of the newly developed Mpro inhibitors. Our results suggest strategies for developing robust inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 that will retain longer-lasting efficacy against this evolving viral pathogen.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Drug Resistance , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Peptide Hydrolases , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry
3.
Biochemistry ; 60(39): 2925-2931, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1402014

ABSTRACT

Rupintrivir targets the 3C cysteine proteases of the picornaviridae family, which includes rhinoviruses and enteroviruses that cause a range of human diseases. Despite being a pan-3C protease inhibitor, rupintrivir activity is extremely weak against the homologous 3C-like protease of SARS-CoV-2. In this study, the crystal structures of rupintrivir were determined bound to enterovirus 68 (EV68) 3C protease and the 3C-like main protease (Mpro) from SARS-CoV-2. While the EV68 3C protease-rupintrivir structure was similar to previously determined complexes with other picornavirus 3C proteases, rupintrivir bound in a unique conformation to the active site of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro splitting the catalytic cysteine and histidine residues. This bifurcation of the catalytic dyad may provide a novel approach for inhibiting cysteine proteases.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Isoxazoles/metabolism , Phenylalanine/analogs & derivatives , Pyrrolidinones/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Valine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Enterovirus D, Human/enzymology , Hydrogen Bonding , Isoxazoles/chemistry , Phenylalanine/chemistry , Phenylalanine/metabolism , Protein Binding , Pyrrolidinones/chemistry , Static Electricity , Valine/chemistry , Valine/metabolism
4.
Immunity ; 54(8): 1853-1868.e7, 2021 08 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1330891

ABSTRACT

Antibodies elicited by infection accumulate somatic mutations in germinal centers that can increase affinity for cognate antigens. We analyzed 6 independent groups of clonally related severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) Spike receptor-binding domain (RBD)-specific antibodies from 5 individuals shortly after infection and later in convalescence to determine the impact of maturation over months. In addition to increased affinity and neutralization potency, antibody evolution changed the mutational pathways for the acquisition of viral resistance and restricted neutralization escape options. For some antibodies, maturation imposed a requirement for multiple substitutions to enable escape. For certain antibodies, affinity maturation enabled the neutralization of circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern and heterologous sarbecoviruses. Antibody-antigen structures revealed that these properties resulted from substitutions that allowed additional variability at the interface with the RBD. These findings suggest that increasing antibody diversity through prolonged or repeated antigen exposure may improve protection against diversifying SARS-CoV-2 populations, and perhaps against other pandemic threat coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antibody Affinity/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/chemistry , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/chemistry , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antigens, Viral/chemistry , Antigens, Viral/genetics , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Humans , Models, Molecular , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Structure-Activity Relationship , Virulence/genetics
5.
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
6.
Viruses ; 13(2)2021 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1045365

ABSTRACT

Viral proteases are critical enzymes for the maturation of many human pathogenic viruses and thus are key targets for direct acting antivirals (DAAs). The current viral pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 is in dire need of DAAs. The Main protease (Mpro) is the focus of extensive structure-based drug design efforts which are mostly covalent inhibitors targeting the catalytic cysteine. ML188 is a non-covalent inhibitor designed to target SARS-CoV-1 Mpro, and provides an initial scaffold for the creation of effective pan-coronavirus inhibitors. In the current study, we found that ML188 inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Mpro at 2.5 µM, which is more potent than against SAR-CoV-1 Mpro. We determined the crystal structure of ML188 in complex with SARS-CoV-2 Mpro to 2.39 Å resolution. Sharing 96% sequence identity, structural comparison of the two complexes only shows subtle differences. Non-covalent protease inhibitors complement the design of covalent inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 main protease and are critical initial steps in the design of DAAs to treat CoVID 19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Amino Acid Sequence , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Drug Discovery , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Models, Molecular , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS Virus/enzymology
7.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 4198, 2020 08 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-724360

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 has become a global pandemic requiring the development of interventions for the prevention or treatment to curtail mortality and morbidity. No vaccine to boost mucosal immunity, or as a therapeutic, has yet been developed to SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we discover and characterize a cross-reactive human IgA monoclonal antibody, MAb362. MAb362 binds to both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins and competitively blocks ACE2 receptor binding, by overlapping the ACE2 structural binding epitope. Furthermore, MAb362 IgA neutralizes both pseudotyped SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 in 293 cells expressing ACE2. When converted to secretory IgA, MAb326 also neutralizes authentic SARS-CoV-2 virus while the IgG isotype shows no neutralization. Our results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 specific IgA antibodies, such as MAb362, may provide effective immunity against SARS-CoV-2 by inducing mucosal immunity within the respiratory system, a potentially critical feature of an effective vaccine.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Monoclonal/immunology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Immunoglobulin A/immunology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Animals , Antibodies, Monoclonal/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cross Reactions , Epitopes , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunoglobulin A/metabolism , Immunoglobulin A, Secretory/immunology , Immunoglobulin A, Secretory/metabolism , Immunoglobulin G/immunology , Immunoglobulin G/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protein Binding , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS Virus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Vero Cells
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