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J Nat Prod ; 85(2): 327-336, 2022 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1655431


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has led to more than 5 million deaths worldwide to date. Due to the limited therapeutic options so far available, target-based virtual screening with LC/MS support was applied to identify the novel and high-content compounds 1-4 with inhibitory effects on SARS-CoV-2 in Vero E6 cells from the plant Dryopteris wallichiana. These compounds were also evaluated against SARS-CoV-2 in Calu-3 cells and showed unambiguous inhibitory activity. The inhibition assay of targets showed that compounds 3 and 4 mainly inhibited SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro, with effective Kd values. Through docking and molecular dynamics modeling, the binding site is described, providing a comprehensive understanding of 3CLpro and interactions for 3, including hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic bonds, and the spatial occupation of the B ring. Compounds 3 and 4 represent new, potential lead compounds for the development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs. This study has led to the development of a target-based virtual screening method for exploring the potency of natural products and for identifying natural bioactive compounds for possible COVID-19 treatment.

Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Biological Products/pharmacology , Microbial Sensitivity Tests/methods , Phloroglucinol/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Terpenes/pharmacology , Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid , Chromatography, Liquid , Crystallography, X-Ray , Drug Delivery Systems , Dryopteris/chemistry , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , Mass Spectrometry , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Structure , Virtual Reality
Acta Pharmacol Sin ; 43(4): 788-796, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343437


An epidemic of pneumonia caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is spreading worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 relies on its spike protein to invade host cells by interacting with the human receptor protein Angiotensin-Converting Enzymes 2 (ACE2). Therefore, designing an antibody or small-molecular entry blockers is of great significance for virus prevention and treatment. This study identified five potential small molecular anti-virus blockers via targeting SARS-CoV-2 spike protein by combining in silico technologies with in vitro experimental methods. The five molecules were natural products that binding to the RBD domain of SARS-CoV-2 was qualitatively and quantitively validated by both native Mass Spectrometry (MS) and Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR). Anti-viral activity assays showed that the optimal molecule, H69C2, had a strong binding affinity (dissociation constant KD) of 0.0947 µM and anti-virus IC50 of 85.75 µM.

COVID-19 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2
Acta Pharmacol Sin ; 43(2): 483-493, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1205431


The COVID-19, caused by SARS-CoV-2, is threatening public health, and there is no effective treatment. In this study, we have implemented a multi-targeted anti-viral drug design strategy to discover highly potent SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors, which simultaneously act on the host ribosome, viral RNA as well as RNA-dependent RNA polymerases, and nucleocapsid protein of the virus, to impair viral translation, frameshifting, replication, and assembly. Driven by this strategy, three alkaloids, including lycorine, emetine, and cephaeline, were discovered to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 with EC50 values of low nanomolar levels potently. The findings in this work demonstrate the feasibility of this multi-targeting drug design strategy and provide a rationale for designing more potent anti-virus drugs.

Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Design , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Structure , Structure-Activity Relationship