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J Med Chem ; 65(1): 876-884, 2022 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606194


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a global health threat, was caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 papain-like cysteine protease (PLpro) was recognized as a promising drug target because of multiple functions in virus maturation and antiviral immune responses. Inhibitor GRL0617 occupied the interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) C-terminus-binding pocket and showed an effective antiviral inhibition. Here, we described a novel peptide-drug conjugate (PDC), in which GRL0617 was linked to a sulfonium-tethered peptide derived from PLpro-specific substrate LRGG. The EM-C and EC-M PDCs showed a promising in vitro IC50 of 7.40 ± 0.37 and 8.63 ± 0.55 µM, respectively. EC-M could covalently label PLpro active site C111 and display anti-ISGylation activities in cellular assays. The results represent the first attempt to design PDCs composed of stabilized peptide inhibitors and GRL0617 to inhibit PLpro. These novel PDCs provide promising opportunities for antiviral drug design.

Aniline Compounds/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Benzamides/chemistry , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Drug Design , Naphthalenes/chemistry , Peptides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Aniline Compounds/metabolism , Aniline Compounds/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Benzamides/metabolism , Benzamides/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Cell Survival/drug effects , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Cytokines/chemistry , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Naphthalenes/metabolism , Naphthalenes/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Ubiquitins/chemistry
Int J Biol Macromol ; 188: 137-146, 2021 Oct 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345340


COVID-19 is a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, which has led to more than 4 million deaths worldwide. As a result, there is a worldwide effort to develop specific drugs for targeting COVID-19. Papain-like protease (PLpro) is an attractive drug target because it has multiple essential functions involved in processing viral proteins, including viral genome replication and removal of post-translational ubiquitination modifications. Here, we established two assays for screening PLpro inhibitors according to protease and anti-ISGylation activities, respectively. Application of the two screening techniques to the library of clinically approved drugs led to the discovery of tanshinone IIA sulfonate sodium and chloroxine with their IC50 values of lower than 10 µM. These two compounds were found to directly interact with PLpro and their molecular mechanisms of binding were illustrated by docking and molecular dynamics simulations. The results highlight the usefulness of the two developed screening techniques for locating PLpro inhibitors.

Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Drug Repositioning , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , Chloroquinolinols/chemistry , Chloroquinolinols/pharmacology , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Phenanthrenes/chemistry , Phenanthrenes/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
Gut ; 2020.
Article in English | WHO COVID, ELSEVIER | ID: covidwho-101751


Objective: Since December 2019, a newly identified coronavirus (severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)) has caused outbreaks of pneumonia in Wuhan, China. SARS-CoV-2 enters host cells via cell receptor ACE II (ACE2) and the transmembrane serine protease 2 (TMPRSS2). In order to identify possible prime target cells of SARS-CoV-2 by comprehensive dissection of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 coexpression pattern in different cell types, five datasets with single-cell transcriptomes of lung, oesophagus, gastric mucosa, ileum and colon were analysed. Design: Five datasets were searched, separately integrated and analysed. Violin plot was used to show the distribution of differentially expressed genes for different clusters. The ACE2-expressing and TMPRRSS2-expressing cells were highlighted and dissected to characterise the composition and proportion. Results: Cell types in each dataset were identified by known markers. ACE2 and TMPRSS2 were not only coexpressed in lung AT2 cells and oesophageal upper epithelial and gland cells but also highly expressed in absorptive enterocytes from the ileum and colon. Additionally, among all the coexpressing cells in the normal digestive system and lung, the expression of ACE2 was relatively highly expressed in the ileum and colon. Conclusion: This study provides the evidence of the potential route of SARS-CoV-2 in the digestive system along with the respiratory tract based on single-cell transcriptomic analysis. This finding may have a significant impact on health policy setting regarding the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Our study also demonstrates a novel method to identify the prime cell types of a virus by the coexpression pattern analysis of single-cell sequencing data.