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Biochem J ; 478(13): 2445-2464, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290093


SARS-CoV-2 is a coronavirus that emerged in 2019 and rapidly spread across the world causing a deadly pandemic with tremendous social and economic costs. Healthcare systems worldwide are under great pressure, and there is an urgent need for effective antiviral treatments. The only currently approved antiviral treatment for COVID-19 is remdesivir, an inhibitor of viral genome replication. SARS-CoV-2 proliferation relies on the enzymatic activities of the non-structural proteins (nsp), which makes them interesting targets for the development of new antiviral treatments. With the aim to identify novel SARS-CoV-2 antivirals, we have purified the exoribonuclease/methyltransferase (nsp14) and its cofactor (nsp10) and developed biochemical assays compatible with high-throughput approaches to screen for exoribonuclease inhibitors. We have screened a library of over 5000 commercial compounds and identified patulin and aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) as inhibitors of nsp14 exoribonuclease in vitro. We found that patulin and ATA inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2 in a VERO E6 cell-culture model. These two new antiviral compounds will be valuable tools for further coronavirus research as well as potentially contributing to new therapeutic opportunities for COVID-19.

Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Exoribonucleases/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , Aurintricarboxylic Acid/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Enzyme Assays , Exoribonucleases/metabolism , Fluorescence , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Patulin/pharmacology , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism
Molecules ; 26(11)2021 May 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1256613


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is responsible for the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic. The first step of viral infection is cell attachment, which is mediated by the binding of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD), part of the virus spike protein, to human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). Therefore, drug repurposing to discover RBD-ACE2 binding inhibitors may provide a rapid and safe approach for COVID-19 therapy. Here, we describe the development of an in vitro RBD-ACE2 binding assay and its application to identify inhibitors of the interaction of the SARS-CoV-2 RBD to ACE2 by the high-throughput screening of two compound libraries (LOPAC®1280 and DiscoveryProbeTM). Three compounds, heparin sodium, aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA), and ellagic acid, were found to exert an effective binding inhibition, with IC50 values ranging from 0.6 to 5.5 µg/mL. A plaque reduction assay in Vero E6 cells infected with a SARS-CoV-2 surrogate virus confirmed the inhibition efficacy of heparin sodium and ATA. Molecular docking analysis located potential binding sites of these compounds in the RBD. In light of these findings, the screening system described herein can be applied to other drug libraries to discover potent SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors.

Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Discovery , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Aurintricarboxylic Acid/pharmacology , Aurintricarboxylic Acid/therapeutic use , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Ellagic Acid/pharmacology , Ellagic Acid/therapeutic use , Heparin/pharmacology , Heparin/therapeutic use , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Domains/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization/drug effects