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1.
PLoS One ; 17(11): e0276751, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2116658

ABSTRACT

Despite new antivirals are being approved against SARS-CoV-2 they suffer from significant constraints and are not indicated for hospitalized patients, who are left with few antiviral options. Repurposed drugs have previously shown controversial clinical results and it remains difficult to understand why certain trials delivered positive results and other trials failed. Our manuscript contributes to explaining the puzzle: this might have been caused by a suboptimal drug exposure and, consequently, an incomplete virus suppression, also because the drugs have mostly been used as add-on monotherapies. As with other viruses (e.g., HIV and HCV) identifying synergistic combinations among such drugs could overcome monotherapy-related limitations. In a cell culture model for SARS-CoV-2 infection the following stringent criteria were adopted to assess drug combinations: 1) identify robust, synergistic antiviral activity with no increase in cytotoxicity, 2) identify the lowest drug concentration inhibiting the virus by 100% (LIC100) and 3) understand whether the LIC100 could be reached in the lung at clinically indicated drug doses. Among several combinations tested, remdesivir with either azithromycin or ivermectin synergistically increased the antiviral activity with no increase in cytotoxicity, improving the therapeutic index and lowering the LIC100 of every one of the drugs to levels that are expected to be achievable and maintained in the lung for a therapeutically relevant period of time. These results are consistent with recent clinical observations showing that intensive care unit admission was significantly delayed by the combination of AZI and RDV, but not by RDV alone, and could have immediate implications for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 as the proposed "drug cocktails" should have antiviral activity against present and future SARS-CoV-2 variants without significant overlapping toxicity, while minimizing the onset of drug resistance. Our results also provide a validated methodology to help sort out which combination of drugs are most likely to be efficacious in vivo, based on their in vitro activity, potential synergy and PK profiles.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , COVID-19/drug therapy , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Lung , Drug Combinations
2.
PLoS One ; 17(10): e0271850, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2089379

ABSTRACT

Remdesivir is a leading therapy in patients with moderate to severe coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection; the majority of whom are older individuals. Remdesivir is a nucleoside analog that incorporates into nascent viral RNA, inhibiting RNA-directed RNA polymerases, including that of SARS-CoV-2. Less is known about remdesivir's effects on mitochondria, particularly in older adults where mitochondria are known to be dysfunctional. Furthermore, its effect on age-induced mitochondrial mutations and copy number has not been previously studied. We hypothesized that remdesivir adversely affects mtDNA copy number and deletion mutation frequency in aged rodents. To test this hypothesis, 30-month-old male F333BNF1 rats were treated with remdesivir for three months. To determine if remdesivir adversely affects mtDNA, we measured copy number and mtDNA deletion frequency in rat hearts, kidneys, and skeletal muscles using digital PCR. We found no effects from three months of remdesivir treatment on mtDNA copy number or deletion mutation frequency in 33-month-old rats. These data support the notion that remdesivir does not compromise mtDNA quality or quantity at old age in mammals. Future work should focus on examining additional tissues such as brain and liver, and extend testing to human clinical samples.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , DNA, Mitochondrial , Animals , Child, Preschool , Humans , Male , Rats , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine , DNA Copy Number Variations , DNA, Mitochondrial/genetics , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/genetics , Mammals/genetics , Mitochondria/genetics , Nucleosides , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Deletion
3.
J Org Chem ; 87(21): 14452-14462, 2022 Nov 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2062147

ABSTRACT

While biochemical, structural, and computational studies have shown the importance of remdesivir's C1'-substituent in its perturbation of SARS-CoV-2 RdRp action, we recognized the paucity of methods to stereoselectively install substituents at this position as an obstacle to rigorous explorations of SAR and mechanism. We report the utilization of an anomerically pure 1'-cyano intermediate as an entry point to a chemically diverse set of substitutions, allowing for 1'diversification while obviating the need for the tedious separation of anomeric mixtures.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Nucleosides , COVID-19/drug therapy , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/chemistry
4.
Biochemistry ; 61(18): 1966-1973, 2022 09 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2016509

ABSTRACT

Remdesivir is an adenosine analogue that has a cyano substitution in the C1' position of the ribosyl moiety and a modified base structure to stabilize the linkage of the base to the C1' atom with its strong electron-withdrawing cyano group. Within the replication-transcription complex (RTC) of SARS-CoV-2, the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase nsp12 selects remdesivir monophosphate (RMP) over adenosine monophosphate (AMP) for nucleotide incorporation but noticeably slows primer extension after the added RMP of the RNA duplex product is translocated by three base pairs. Cryo-EM structures have been determined for the RTC with RMP at the nucleotide-insertion (i) site or at the i + 1, i + 2, or i + 3 sites after product translocation to provide a structural basis for a delayed-inhibition mechanism by remdesivir. In this study, we applied molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to extend the resolution of structures to the measurable maximum that is intrinsically limited by MD properties of these complexes. Our MD simulations provide (i) a structural basis for nucleotide selectivity of the incoming substrates of remdesivir triphosphate over adenosine triphosphate and of ribonucleotide over deoxyribonucleotide, (ii) new detailed information on hydrogen atoms involved in H-bonding interactions between the enzyme and remdesivir, and (iii) direct information on the catalytically active complex that is not easily captured by experimental methods. Our improved resolution of interatomic interactions at the nucleotide-binding pocket between remedesivir and the polymerase could help to design a new class of anti-SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Triphosphate , Antiviral Agents , SARS-CoV-2 , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Triphosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Triphosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Deoxyribonucleotides , Hydrogen , Nucleotides , RNA, Viral/genetics , Ribonucleotides , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(15)2022 Jul 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1969292

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the necessity of more efficient antiviral compounds. The antiviral efficacy of adenosine-based analogs, the main repurposed drugs for SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) inhibition, is mainly assessed through in vitro or cell-free polymerization assays, under arbitrary conditions that do not reflect the physiological environment. We show that SARS-CoV-2 RdRp inhibition efficiency of remdesivir and cordycepin, two common adenosine analogs, is influenced by endogenous adenosine level, and that the current clinically approved concentrations for COVID-19 treatment are suboptimal for effective RdRp inhibition. Furthermore, we identified GTP as the rate-limiting nucleotide of SARS-CoV-2 replication. Our results demonstrate that nucleotide sensitivity of the RdRp complex and competition of nucleoside analog drugs against endogenous concentrations of nucleotides are crucial elements to be considered when designing new SARS-CoV-2 antiviral compounds.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adenosine , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Nucleotides/pharmacology , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics
6.
Biochemistry ; 61(13): 1392-1403, 2022 07 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1900399

ABSTRACT

The two RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitors remdesivir and favipiravir were originally developed and approved as broad-spectrum antiviral drugs for the treatment of harmful viral infections such as Ebola and influenza. With the outbreak of the global SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the two drugs were repurposed for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Clinical studies suggested that the efficacy of the drugs is enhanced in the case of an early or even prophylactic application. Because the contact between drug molecules and the plasma membrane is essential for a successful permeation process of the substances and therefore for their intracellular efficiency, drug-induced effects on the membrane structure are likely and have already been shown for other substances. We investigated the impact of remdesivir and favipiravir on lipid bilayers in model and cell membranes via several biophysical approaches. The measurements revealed that the embedding of remdesivir molecules in the lipid bilayer results in a disturbance of the membrane structure of the tested phospholipid vesicles. Nevertheless, in a cell-based assay, the presence of remdesivir induced only weak hemolysis of the treated erythrocytes. In contrast, no experimental indication for an effect on the structure and integrity of the membrane was detected in the case of favipiravir. Regarding potential prophylactic or accompanying use of the drugs in the therapy of COVID-19, the physiologically relevant impacts associated with the drug-induced structural modifications of the membrane might be important to understand side effects and/or low effectivities.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Lipid Bilayers , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/chemistry , Alanine/pharmacology , Amides , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Pyrazines , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Arch Toxicol ; 96(8): 2341-2360, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1844345

ABSTRACT

Remdesivir is a prodrug of a nucleoside analog and the first antiviral therapeutic approved for coronavirus disease. Recent cardiac safety concerns and reports on remdesivir-related acute kidney injury call for a better characterization of remdesivir toxicity and understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Here, we performed an in vitro toxicity assessment of remdesivir around clinically relevant concentrations (Cmax 9 µM) using H9c2 rat cardiomyoblasts, neonatal mouse cardiomyocytes (NMCM), rat NRK-52E and human RPTEC/TERT1 cells as cell models for the assessment of cardiotoxicity or nephrotoxicity, respectively. Due to the known potential of nucleoside analogs for the induction of mitochondrial toxicity, we assessed mitochondrial function in response to remdesivir treatment, early proteomic changes in NMCM and RPTEC/TERT1 cells and the contractile function of NMCM. Short-term treatments (24 h) of H9c2 and NRK-52E cells with remdesivir adversely affected cell viability by inhibition of proliferation as determined by significantly decreased 3H-thymidine uptake. Mitochondrial toxicity of remdesivir (1.6-3.1 µM) in cardiac cells was evident by a significant decrease in oxygen consumption, a collapse of mitochondrial membrane potential and an increase in lactate secretion after a 24-48-h treatment. This was supported by early proteomic changes of respiratory chain proteins and intermediate filaments that are typically involved in mitochondrial reorganization. Functionally, an impedance-based analysis showed that remdesivir (6.25 µM) affected the beat rate and contractility of NMCM. In conclusion, we identified adverse effects of remdesivir in cardiac and kidney cells at clinically relevant concentrations, suggesting a careful evaluation of therapeutic use in patients at risk for cardiovascular or kidney disease.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Proteomics , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Animals , Antiviral Agents/toxicity , Cell Proliferation , Humans , Kidney , Mice , Rats
8.
Ann Intern Med ; 175(5): JC50, 2022 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1835633

ABSTRACT

SOURCE CITATION: Gottlieb RL, Vaca CE, Paredes R, et al. Early remdesivir to prevent progression to severe Covid-19 in outpatients. N Engl J Med. 2022;386:305-15. 34937145.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , COVID-19/drug therapy , Hospitalization , Humans , Outpatients , SARS-CoV-2
9.
Drugs ; 82(5): 533-557, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1827389

ABSTRACT

Sulopenem (formerly known as CP-70,429, and CP-65,207 when a component of a racemic mixture with its R isomer) is an intravenous and oral penem that possesses in vitro activity against fluoroquinolone-resistant, extended spectrum ß-lactamases (ESBL)-producing, multidrug-resistant (MDR) Enterobacterales. Sulopenem is being developed to treat patients with uncomplicated and complicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) as well as intra-abdominal infections. This review will focus mainly on its use in UTIs. The chemical structure of sulopenem shares properties of penicillins, cephalosporins, and carbapenems. Sulopenem is available as an oral prodrug formulation, sulopenem etzadroxil, which is hydrolyzed by intestinal esterases, resulting in active sulopenem. In early studies, the S isomer of CP-65,207, later developed as sulopenem, demonstrated greater absorption, higher drug concentrations in the urine, and increased stability against the renal enzyme dehydropeptidase-1 compared with the R isomer, which set the stage for its further development as a UTI antimicrobial. Sulopenem is active against both Gram-negative and Gram-positive microorganisms. Sulopenem's ß-lactam ring alkylates the serine residues of penicillin-binding protein (PBP), which inhibits peptidoglycan cross-linking. Due to its ionization and low molecular weight, sulopenem passes through outer membrane proteins to reach PBPs of Gram-negative bacteria. While sulopenem activity is unaffected by many ß-lactamases, resistance arises from alterations in PBPs (e.g., methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus [MRSA]), expression of carbapenemases (e.g., carbapenemase-producing Enterobacterales and in Stenotrophomonas maltophilia), reduction in the expression of outer membrane proteins (e.g., some Klebsiella spp.), and the presence of efflux pumps (e.g., MexAB-OprM in Pseudomonas aeruginosa), or a combination of these mechanisms. In vitro studies have reported that sulopenem demonstrates greater activity than meropenem and ertapenem against Enterococcus faecalis, Listeria monocytogenes, methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA), and Staphylococcus epidermidis, as well as similar activity to carbapenems against Streptococcus agalactiae, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Streptococcus pyogenes. With some exceptions, sulopenem activity against Gram-negative aerobes was less than ertapenem and meropenem but greater than imipenem. Sulopenem activity against Escherichia coli carrying ESBL, CTX-M, or Amp-C enzymes, or demonstrating MDR phenotypes, as well as against ESBL-producing Klebsiella pneumoniae, was nearly identical to ertapenem and meropenem and greater than imipenem. Sulopenem exhibited identical or slightly greater activity than imipenem against many Gram-positive and Gram-negative anaerobes, including Bacteroides fragilis. The pharmacokinetics of intravenous sulopenem appear similar to carbapenems such as imipenem-cilastatin, meropenem, and doripenem. In healthy subjects, reported volumes of distribution (Vd) ranged from 15.8 to 27.6 L, total drug clearances (CLT) of 18.9-24.9 L/h, protein binding of approximately 10%, and elimination half-lives (t½) of 0.88-1.03 h. The estimated renal clearance (CLR) of sulopenem is 8.0-10.6 L/h, with 35.5% ± 6.7% of a 1000 mg dose recovered unchanged in the urine. An ester prodrug, sulopenem etzadroxil, has been developed for oral administration. Initial investigations reported a variable oral bioavailability of 20-34% under fasted conditions, however subsequent work showed that bioavailability is significantly improved by administering sulopenem with food to increase its oral absorption or with probenecid to reduce its renal tubular secretion. Food consumption increases the area under the curve (AUC) of oral sulopenem (500 mg twice daily) by 23.6% when administered alone and 62% when administered with 500 mg of probenecid. Like carbapenems, sulopenem demonstrates bactericidal activity that is associated with the percentage of time that free concentrations exceed the MIC (%f T > MIC). In animal models, bacteriostasis was associated with %f T > MICs ranging from 8.6 to 17%, whereas 2-log10 kill was seen at values ranging from 12 to 28%. No pharmacodynamic targets have been documented for suppression of resistance. Sulopenem concentrations in urine are variable, ranging from 21.8 to 420.0 mg/L (median 84.4 mg/L) in fasted subjects and 28.8 to 609.0 mg/L (median 87.3 mg/L) in those who were fed. Sulopenem has been compared with carbapenems and cephalosporins in guinea pig and murine systemic and lung infection animal models. Studied pathogens included Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, B. fragilis, Citrobacter freundii, Enterobacter cloacae, E. coli, K. pneumoniae, Proteus vulgaris, and Serratia marcescens. These studies reported that overall, sulopenem was non-inferior to carbapenems but appeared to be superior to cephalosporins. A phase III clinical trial (SURE-1) reported that sulopenem was not non-inferior to ciprofloxacin in women infected with fluoroquinolone-susceptible pathogens, due to a higher rate of asymptomatic bacteriuria in sulopenem-treated patients at the test-of-cure visit. However, the researchers reported superiority of sulopenem etzadroxil/probenecid over ciprofloxacin for the treatment of uncomplicated UTIs in women infected with fluoroquinolone/non-susceptible pathogens, and non-inferiority in all patients with a positive urine culture. A phase III clinical trial (SURE-2) compared intravenous sulopenem followed by oral sulopenem etzadroxil/probenecid with ertapenem in the treatment of complicated UTIs. No difference in overall success was noted at the end of therapy. However, intravenous sulopenem followed by oral sulopenem etzadroxil was not non-inferior to ertapenem followed by oral stepdown therapy in overall success at test-of-cure due to a higher rate of asymptomatic bacteriuria in the sulopenem arm. After a meeting with the US FDA, Iterum stated that they are currently evaluating the optimal design for an additional phase III uncomplicated UTI study to be conducted prior to the potential resubmission of the New Drug Application (NDA). It is unclear at this time whether Iterum intends to apply for EMA or Japanese regulatory approval. The safety and tolerability of sulopenem has been reported in various phase I pharmacokinetic studies and phase III clinical trials. Sulopenem (intravenous and oral) appears to be well tolerated in healthy subjects, with and without the coadministration of probenecid, with few serious drug-related treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) reported to date. Reported TEAEs affecting ≥1% of patients were (from most to least common) diarrhea, nausea, headache, vomiting and dizziness. Discontinuation rates were low and were not different than comparator agents. Sulopenem administered orally and/or intravenously represents a potentially well tolerated and effective option for treating uncomplicated and complicated UTIs, especially in patients with documented or highly suspected antimicrobial pathogens to commonly used agents (e.g. fluoroquinolone-resistant E. coli), and in patients with documented microbiological or clinical failure or patients who demonstrate intolerance/adverse effects to first-line agents. This agent will likely be used orally in the outpatient setting, and intravenously followed by oral stepdown in the hospital setting. Sulopenem also allows for oral stepdown therapy in the hospital setting from intravenous non-sulopenem therapy. More clinical data are required to fully assess the clinical efficacy and safety of sulopenem, especially in patients with complicated UTIs caused by resistant pathogens such as ESBL-producing, Amp-C, MDR E. coli. Antimicrobial stewardship programs will need to create guidelines for when this oral and intravenous penem should be used.


Subject(s)
Bacteriuria , Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus , Prodrugs , Urinary Tract Infections , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Animals , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Bacteriuria/chemically induced , Bacteriuria/drug therapy , Carbapenems/pharmacology , Cephalosporins/pharmacology , Ciprofloxacin/pharmacology , Ertapenem , Escherichia coli , Female , Fluoroquinolones/pharmacology , Gram-Negative Bacteria , Guinea Pigs , Humans , Imipenem/pharmacology , Lactams , Male , Membrane Proteins/pharmacology , Meropenem/pharmacology , Mice , Probenecid/pharmacology , Prodrugs/pharmacology , Staphylococcus aureus , Urinary Tract Infections/drug therapy , beta-Lactamases/pharmacology
10.
PLoS Negl Trop Dis ; 16(3): e0010220, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731579

ABSTRACT

The Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) began development of a broad-spectrum antiviral countermeasure against deliberate use of high-consequence viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs) in 2016. The effort featured comprehensive preclinical research, including laboratory testing and rapid advancement of lead molecules into nonhuman primate (NHP) models of Ebola virus disease (EVD). Remdesivir (GS-5734, Veklury, Gilead Sciences) was the first small molecule therapeutic to successfully emerge from this effort. Remdesivir is an inhibitor of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, a viral enzyme that is essential for viral replication. Its robust potency and broad-spectrum antiviral activity against certain RNA viruses including Ebola virus and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) led to its clinical evaluation in randomized, controlled trials (RCTs) in human patients during the 2018 EVD outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and the ongoing Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic today. Remdesivir was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. Substantial gaps remain in improving the outcomes of acute viral infections for patients afflicted with both EVD and COVID-19, including how to increase therapeutic breadth and strategies for the prevention and treatment of severe disease. Combination therapy that joins therapeutics with complimentary mechanisms of action appear promising, both preclinically and in RCTs. Importantly, significant programmatic challenges endure pertaining to a clear drug and biological product development pathway for therapeutics targeting biodefense and emerging pathogens when human efficacy studies are not ethical or feasible. For example, remdesivir's clinical development was facilitated by outbreaks of Ebola and SARS-CoV-2; as such, the development pathway employed for remdesivir is likely to be the exception rather than the rule. The current regulatory licensure pathway for therapeutics targeting rare, weaponizable VHF agents is likely to require use of FDA's established Animal Rule (21 CFR 314.600-650 for drugs; 21 CFR 601.90-95 for biologics). The FDA may grant marketing approval based on adequate and well-controlled animal efficacy studies when the results of those studies establish that the drug is safe and likely to produce clinical benefit in humans. In practical terms, this is anticipated to include a series of rigorous, well-documented, animal challenge studies, to include aerosol challenge, combined with human safety data. While small clinical studies against naturally occurring, high-consequence pathogens are typically performed where possible, approval for the therapeutics currently under development against biodefense pathogens will likely require the Animal Rule pathway utilizing studies in NHPs. We review the development of remdesivir as illustrative of the effort that will be needed to field future therapeutics against highly lethal, infectious agents.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Development , Hemorrhagic Fevers, Viral/drug therapy , Medical Countermeasures , RNA Virus Infections/drug therapy , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/pharmacology , Animals , Humans , Models, Animal , Primates , United States , United States Food and Drug Administration/legislation & jurisprudence
11.
Mar Drugs ; 20(3)2022 Feb 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715534

ABSTRACT

Several natural products recovered from a marine-derived Aspergillus niger were tested for their inhibitory activity against SARS CoV-2 in vitro. Aurasperone A (3) was found to inhibit SARS CoV-2 efficiently (IC50 = 12.25 µM) with comparable activity with the positive control remdesivir (IC50 = 10.11 µM). Aurasperone A exerted minimal cytotoxicity on Vero E6 cells (CC50 = 32.36 mM, SI = 2641.5) and it was found to be much safer than remdesivir (CC50 = 415.22 µM, SI = 41.07). To putatively highlight its molecular target, aurasperone A was subjected to molecular docking against several key-viral protein targets followed by a series of molecular dynamics-based in silico experiments that suggested Mpro to be its primary viral protein target. More potent anti-SARS CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors can be developed according to our findings presented in the present investigation.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Chromones/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/isolation & purification , Aspergillus niger/chemistry , Chlorocebus aethiops , Chromones/isolation & purification , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/isolation & purification , RNA Helicases/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells
12.
Viruses ; 14(2)2022 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1687050

ABSTRACT

Despite the development of specific therapies against severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the continuous investigation of the mechanism of action of clinically approved drugs could provide new information on the druggable steps of virus-host interaction. For example, chloroquine (CQ)/hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) lacks in vitro activity against SARS-CoV-2 in TMPRSS2-expressing cells, such as human pneumocyte cell line Calu-3, and likewise, failed to show clinical benefit in the Solidarity and Recovery clinical trials. Another antimalarial drug, mefloquine, which is not a 4-aminoquinoline like CQ/HCQ, has emerged as a potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 antiviral in vitro and has also been previously repurposed for respiratory diseases. Here, we investigated the anti-SARS-CoV-2 mechanism of action of mefloquine in cells relevant for the physiopathology of COVID-19, such as Calu-3 cells (that recapitulate type II pneumocytes) and monocytes. Molecular pathways modulated by mefloquine were assessed by differential expression analysis, and confirmed by biological assays. A PBPK model was developed to assess mefloquine's optimal doses for achieving therapeutic concentrations. Mefloquine inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in Calu-3, with an EC50 of 1.2 µM and EC90 of 5.3 µM. It reduced SARS-CoV-2 RNA levels in monocytes and prevented virus-induced enhancement of IL-6 and TNF-α. Mefloquine reduced SARS-CoV-2 entry and synergized with Remdesivir. Mefloquine's pharmacological parameters are consistent with its plasma exposure in humans and its tissue-to-plasma predicted coefficient points suggesting that mefloquine may accumulate in the lungs. Altogether, our data indicate that mefloquine's chemical structure could represent an orally available host-acting agent to inhibit virus entry.


Subject(s)
Alveolar Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Mefloquine/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Drug Repositioning/methods , Humans , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Virus Internalization/drug effects
13.
Molecules ; 27(3)2022 Jan 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1648677

ABSTRACT

The human population is still facing appalling conditions due to several outbreaks of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) virus. The absence of specific drugs, appropriate vaccines for mutants, and knowledge of potential therapeutic agents makes this situation more difficult. Several 1, 2, 4-triazolo [1, 5-a] pyrimidine (TP)-derivative compounds were comprehensively studied for antiviral activities against RNA polymerase of HIV, HCV, and influenza viruses, and showed immense pharmacological interest. Therefore, TP-derivative compounds can be repurposed against the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) protein of SARS-CoV-2. In this study, a meta-analysis was performed to ensure the genomic variability and stability of the SARS-CoV-2 RdRp protein. The molecular docking of natural and synthetic TP compounds to RdRp and molecular dynamic (MD) simulations were performed to analyse the dynamic behaviour of TP compounds at the active site of the RdRp protein. TP compounds were also docked against other non-structural proteins (NSP1, NSP2, NSP3, NSP5, NSP8, NSP13, and NSP15) of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, the inhibition potential of TP compounds was compared with Remdesivir and Favipiravir drugs as a positive control. Additionally, TP compounds were analysed for inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV RdRp protein. This study demonstrates that TP analogues (monomethylated triazolopyrimidine and essramycin) represent potential lead molecules for designing an effective inhibitor to control viral replication. Furthermore, in vitro and in vivo studies will strengthen the use of these inhibitors as suitable drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/drug effects , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Pyrimidines/pharmacology , Triazoles/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Amides/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Catalytic Domain/drug effects , Computational Biology/methods , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pyrazines/pharmacology , Pyrimidines/chemistry , RNA, Viral/drug effects , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/drug effects , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Triazoles/chemistry , Virus Replication/drug effects
14.
Nature ; 601(7894): 496, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641925

Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Drug Development/trends , Drug Resistance, Viral , Research Personnel , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/administration & dosage , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Administration, Oral , Alanine/administration & dosage , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/supply & distribution , COVID-19/mortality , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/supply & distribution , Cytidine/administration & dosage , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Cytidine/pharmacology , Cytidine/therapeutic use , Drug Approval , Drug Combinations , Drug Resistance, Viral/drug effects , Drug Resistance, Viral/genetics , Drug Therapy, Combination , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Hydroxylamines/administration & dosage , Hydroxylamines/pharmacology , Hydroxylamines/therapeutic use , Lactams/administration & dosage , Lactams/pharmacology , Lactams/therapeutic use , Leucine/administration & dosage , Leucine/pharmacology , Leucine/therapeutic use , Medication Adherence , Molecular Targeted Therapy , Mutagenesis , Nitriles/administration & dosage , Nitriles/pharmacology , Nitriles/therapeutic use , Proline/administration & dosage , Proline/pharmacology , Proline/therapeutic use , Public-Private Sector Partnerships/economics , Ritonavir/administration & dosage , Ritonavir/pharmacology , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
15.
Life Sci Alliance ; 5(4)2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1614505

ABSTRACT

The current COVID-19 pandemic is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus contains a single linear RNA segment that serves as a template for transcription and replication, leading to the synthesis of positive and negative-stranded viral RNA (vRNA) in infected cells. Tools to visualize vRNA directly in infected cells are critical to analyze the viral replication cycle, screen for therapeutic molecules, or study infections in human tissue. Here, we report the design, validation, and initial application of FISH probes to visualize positive or negative RNA of SARS-CoV-2 (CoronaFISH). We demonstrate sensitive visualization of vRNA in African green monkey and several human cell lines, in patient samples and human tissue. We further demonstrate the adaptation of CoronaFISH probes to electron microscopy. We provide all required oligonucleotide sequences, source code to design the probes, and a detailed protocol. We hope that CoronaFISH will complement existing techniques for research on SARS-CoV-2 biology and COVID-19 pathophysiology, drug screening, and diagnostics.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/diagnosis , In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence/methods , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Virus Replication/genetics , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Line, Tumor , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , In Situ Hybridization/methods , Microscopy, Electron/methods , RNA, Viral/ultrastructure , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sensitivity and Specificity , Vero Cells , Virus Release/drug effects , Virus Release/genetics , Virus Release/physiology , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/physiology
16.
Viruses ; 14(1)2022 01 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1614008

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), has spread worldwide, affecting over 250 million people and resulting in over five million deaths. Antivirals that are effective are still limited. The antiviral activities of the Petasites hybdridus CO2 extract Ze 339 were previously reported. Thus, to assess the anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of Ze 339 as well as isopetasin and neopetasin as major active compounds, a CPE and plaque reduction assay in Vero E6 cells was used for viral output. Antiviral effects were tested using the original virus (Wuhan) and the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. The antiviral drug remdesivir was used as control. Pre-treatment with Ze 339 in SARS-CoV-2-infected Vero E6 cells with either virus variant significantly inhibited virus replication with IC50 values of 0.10 and 0.40 µg/mL, respectively. The IC50 values obtained for isopetasin ranged between 0.37 and 0.88 µM for both virus variants, and that of remdesivir ranged between 1.53 and 2.37 µM. In conclusion, Ze 339 as well as the petasins potently inhibited SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro of the Wuhan and Delta variants. Since time is of essence in finding effective treatments, clinical studies will have to demonstrate if Ze339 can become a therapeutic option to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Carbon Dioxide/chemistry , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Genetic Variation , Petasites/chemistry , Plant Extracts/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sesquiterpenes/chemistry , Sesquiterpenes/pharmacology , Vero Cells
17.
J Biol Chem ; 298(2): 101529, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1587355

ABSTRACT

Remdesivir (RDV) is a direct-acting antiviral agent that is approved in several countries for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. RDV exhibits broad-spectrum antiviral activity against positive-sense RNA viruses, for example, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus and hepatitis C virus, and nonsegmented negative-sense RNA viruses, for example, Nipah virus, whereas segmented negative-sense RNA viruses such as influenza virus or Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus are not sensitive to the drug. The reasons for this apparent efficacy pattern are unknown. Here, we expressed and purified representative RNA-dependent RNA polymerases and studied three biochemical parameters that have been associated with the inhibitory effects of RDV-triphosphate (TP): (i) selective incorporation of the nucleotide substrate RDV-TP, (ii) the effect of the incorporated RDV-monophosphate (MP) on primer extension, and (iii) the effect of RDV-MP in the template during incorporation of the complementary UTP. We found a strong correlation between antiviral effects and efficient incorporation of RDV-TP. Inhibition in primer extension reactions was heterogeneous and usually inefficient at higher NTP concentrations. In contrast, template-dependent inhibition of UTP incorporation opposite the embedded RDV-MP was seen with all polymerases. Molecular modeling suggests a steric conflict between the 1'-cyano group of the inhibitor and residues of the structurally conserved RNA-dependent RNA polymerase motif F. We conclude that future efforts in the development of nucleotide analogs with a broader spectrum of antiviral activities should focus on improving rates of incorporation while capitalizing on the inhibitory effects of a bulky 1'-modification.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Models, Molecular , RNA Viruses/enzymology , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Adenosine Monophosphate/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/chemistry , Alanine/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Hepacivirus/drug effects , Hepacivirus/enzymology , Negative-Sense RNA Viruses/drug effects , Negative-Sense RNA Viruses/enzymology , Nipah Virus/drug effects , Nipah Virus/enzymology , Positive-Strand RNA Viruses/drug effects , Positive-Strand RNA Viruses/enzymology , RNA Viruses/drug effects , RNA, Viral/metabolism , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Virus Replication/drug effects
18.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 23465, 2021 12 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556248

ABSTRACT

Human coronavirus NL63 (HCoV-NL63) mainly affects young children and immunocompromised patients, causing morbidity and mortality in a subset of patients. Since no specific treatment is available, this study aims to explore the anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents including favipiravir and remdesivir for treating HCoV-NL63 infection. We first successfully modelled the 3D structure of HCoV-NL63 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) based on the experimentally solved SARS-CoV-2 RdRp structure. Molecular docking indicated that favipiravir has similar binding affinities to SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-NL63 RdRp with LibDock scores of 75 and 74, respectively. The LibDock scores of remdesivir to SARS-CoV-2 and HCoV-NL63 were 135 and 151, suggesting that remdesivir may have a higher affinity to HCoV-NL63 compared to SARS-CoV-2 RdRp. In cell culture models infected with HCoV-NL63, both favipiravir and remdesivir significantly inhibited viral replication and production of infectious viruses. Overall, remdesivir compared to favipiravir is more potent in inhibiting HCoV-NL63 in cell culture. Importantly, there is no evidence of resistance development upon long-term exposure to remdesivir. Furthermore, combining favipiravir or remdesivir with the clinically used antiviral cytokine interferon-alpha resulted in synergistic effects. These findings provided a proof-of-concept that anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs, in particular remdesivir, have the potential to be repurposed for treating HCoV-NL63 infection.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Amides/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus NL63, Human/enzymology , Pyrazines/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/metabolism , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/chemistry , Alanine/metabolism , Alanine/pharmacology , Amides/metabolism , Amides/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , Cell Culture Techniques , Cell Line , Coronavirus NL63, Human/physiology , Haplorhini , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pyrazines/metabolism , Pyrazines/pharmacology , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects
19.
Cell Death Differ ; 29(2): 285-292, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550276

ABSTRACT

The risk of zoonotic coronavirus spillover into the human population, as highlighted by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, demands the development of pan-coronavirus antivirals. The efficacy of existing antiviral ribonucleoside/ribonucleotide analogs, such as remdesivir, is decreased by the viral proofreading exonuclease NSP14-NSP10 complex. Here, using a novel assay and in silico modeling and screening, we identified NSP14-NSP10 inhibitors that increase remdesivir's potency. A model compound, sofalcone, both inhibits the exonuclease activity of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV in vitro, and synergistically enhances the antiviral effect of remdesivir, suppressing the replication of SARS-CoV-2 and the related human coronavirus OC43. The validation of top hits from our primary screenings using cellular systems provides proof-of-concept for the NSP14 complex as a therapeutic target.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Exoribonucleases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , A549 Cells , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Virus Replication/drug effects
20.
Virology ; 566: 60-68, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1537115

ABSTRACT

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 virus has resulted in a worldwide pandemic, but effective antiviral therapies are not widely available. To improve treatment options, we conducted a high-throughput screen to uncover compounds that block SARS-CoV-2 infection. A minimally pathogenic human betacoronavirus (OC43) was used to infect physiologically-relevant human pulmonary fibroblasts (MRC5) to facilitate rapid antiviral discovery in a preclinical model. Comprehensive profiling was conducted on more than 600 compounds, with each compound arrayed across 10 dose points. Our screening revealed several FDA-approved agents that can attenuate both OC43 and SARS-CoV-2 viral replication, including lapatinib, doramapimod, and 17-AAG. Importantly, lapatinib inhibited SARS-CoV-2 RNA replication by over 50,000-fold. Further, both lapatinib and doramapimod could be combined with remdesivir to improve antiviral activity in cells. These findings reveal novel therapeutic avenues that could limit SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Lapatinib/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/pharmacology , Animals , Benzoquinones/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Combinations , Drug Discovery , Drug Synergism , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Lactams, Macrocyclic/pharmacology , Naphthalenes/pharmacology , Phenylurea Compounds/pharmacology , Pyrazoles/pharmacology , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
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