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1.
Crit Care ; 26(1): 101, 2022 04 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779665

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel inhibitors block proinflammatory cytokine release, preserve endothelial integrity and may effectively treat patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. METHODS: CARDEA was a phase 2, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial evaluating the addition of Auxora, a CRAC channel inhibitor, to corticosteroids and standard of care in adults with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Eligible patients were adults with ≥ 1 symptom consistent with COVID-19 infection, a diagnosis of COVID-19 confirmed by laboratory testing using polymerase chain reaction or other assay, and pneumonia documented by chest imaging. Patients were also required to be receiving oxygen therapy using either a high flow or low flow nasal cannula at the time of enrolment and have at the time of enrollment a baseline imputed PaO2/FiO2 ratio > 75 and ≤ 300. The PaO2/FiO2 was imputed from a SpO2/FiO2 determine by pulse oximetry using a non-linear equation. Patients could not be receiving either non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation at the time of enrolment. The primary endpoint was time to recovery through Day 60, with secondary endpoints of all-cause mortality at Day 60 and Day 30. Due to declining rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and utilization of standard of care medications prohibited by regulatory guidance, the trial was stopped early. RESULTS: The pre-specified efficacy set consisted of the 261 patients with a baseline imputed PaO2/FiO2≤ 200 with 130 and 131 in the Auxora and placebo groups, respectively. Time to recovery was 7 vs. 10 days (P = 0.0979) for patients who received Auxora vs. placebo, respectively. The all-cause mortality rate at Day 60 was 13.8% with Auxora vs. 20.6% with placebo (P = 0.1449); Day 30 all-cause mortality was 7.7% and 17.6%, respectively (P = 0.0165). Similar trends were noted in all randomized patients, patients on high flow nasal cannula at baseline or those with a baseline imputed PaO2/FiO2 ≤ 100. Serious adverse events (SAEs) were less frequent in patients treated with Auxora vs. placebo and occurred in 34 patients (24.1%) receiving Auxora and 49 (35.0%) receiving placebo (P = 0.0616). The most common SAEs were respiratory failure, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and pneumonia. CONCLUSIONS: Auxora was safe and well tolerated with strong signals in both time to recovery and all-cause mortality through Day 60 in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Further studies of Auxora in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia are warranted. Trial registration NCT04345614.


Subject(s)
Benzamides , COVID-19 , Calcium Release Activated Calcium Channels , Pyrazines , Respiratory Distress Syndrome , Adult , Benzamides/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Calcium Release Activated Calcium Channels/antagonists & inhibitors , Humans , Pyrazines/therapeutic use , Respiration, Artificial , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome
2.
Comput Biol Med ; 145: 105474, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768010

ABSTRACT

Despite significant studies on the COVID-19 pandemic, scientists around the world are still battling to find a definitive therapy against the ongoing severe global health crisis. In this study, advanced computational approaches have been employed to identify bioactive food constituents as potential SARS-CoV-2 PLpro inhibitors-modulators. As a validated antiviral drug target, PLpro has gained tremendous attention for therapeutics developments. Therefore, targeting the multifunctional SARS-CoV-2 PLpro protein, ∼1039 bioactive dietary compounds have been screened extensively through novel techniques like negative image-based (NIB) screening and molecular docking approaches. In particular, the three different models of NIB screening have been generated and used to re-score the dietary compounds based on the negative image which is created by reversing the shape and electrostatics features of PLpro protein's ligand-binding cavity. Further, 100 ns molecular dynamics simulation has been performed and MM-GBSA based binding free energies have been estimated for the final proposed four dietary compounds (PC000550, PC000361, PC000558, and PC000573) as potential inhibitors/modulators of SARS-CoV-2 PLpro protein. Employed computational study outcome also has been compared with respect to the earlier experimentally investigated compound GRL0617 against SARS-CoV-2 PLpro protein, which suggests much greater interaction potential in terms of binding affinity and other energetic contributions for the proposed dietary compounds. Hence, the present study suggests that proposed dietary compounds can be suitable chemical entities for modulating the activity of PLpro protein or can be further utilized for optimizing or screening of novel chemical surrogates, however also needs experimental evaluation for entry in clinical studies for better assessment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aniline Compounds , Benzamides , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Naphthalenes , Pandemics
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(6)2022 Mar 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742493

ABSTRACT

Advanced prostate cancer (PCa) patients with bone metastases are treated with androgen pathway directed therapy (APDT). However, this treatment invariably fails and the cancer becomes castration resistant. To elucidate resistance mechanisms and to provide a more predictive pre-clinical research platform reflecting tumor heterogeneity, we established organoids from a patient-derived xenograft (PDX) model of bone metastatic prostate cancer, PCSD1. APDT-resistant PDX-derived organoids (PDOs) emerged when cultured without androgen or with the anti-androgen, enzalutamide. Transcriptomics revealed up-regulation of neurogenic and steroidogenic genes and down-regulation of DNA repair, cell cycle, circadian pathways and the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 host viral entry factors, ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Time course analysis of the cell cycle in live cells revealed that enzalutamide induced a gradual transition into a reversible dormant state as shown here for the first time at the single cell level in the context of multi-cellular, 3D living organoids using the Fucci2BL fluorescent live cell cycle tracker system. We show here a new mechanism of castration resistance in which enzalutamide induced dormancy and novel basal-luminal-like cells in bone metastatic prostate cancer organoids. These PDX organoids can be used to develop therapies targeting dormant APDT-resistant cells and host factors required for SARS-CoV-2 viral entry.


Subject(s)
Bone Neoplasms/genetics , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic/genetics , Organoids/metabolism , Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant/genetics , Androgens/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Benzamides/pharmacology , Bone Neoplasms/metabolism , Bone Neoplasms/secondary , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Drug Resistance, Neoplasm/drug effects , Drug Resistance, Neoplasm/genetics , Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic/drug effects , Humans , Male , Mice , Nitriles/pharmacology , Phenylthiohydantoin/pharmacology , Prostatic Neoplasms/genetics , Prostatic Neoplasms/metabolism , Prostatic Neoplasms/pathology , Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant/metabolism , Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant/pathology , Receptors, Virus/genetics , Receptors, Virus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Transplantation, Heterologous , Virus Internalization
4.
JCI Insight ; 7(2)2022 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1649609

ABSTRACT

Cellular and molecular mechanisms driving morbidity following SARS-CoV-2 infection have not been well defined. The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is a central mediator of tissue injury and contributes to SARS-CoV-2 disease pathogenesis. In this study, we temporally delineated key cell and molecular events leading to lung injury in mice following SARS-CoV-2 infection and assessed efficacy of therapeutically targeting RAGE to improve survival. Early following infection, SARS-CoV-2 replicated to high titers within the lungs and evaded triggering inflammation and cell death. However, a significant necrotic cell death event in CD45- populations, corresponding with peak viral loads, was observed on day 2 after infection. Metabolic reprogramming and inflammation were initiated following this cell death event and corresponded with increased lung interstitial pneumonia, perivascular inflammation, and endothelial hyperplasia together with decreased oxygen saturation. Therapeutic treatment with the RAGE antagonist FPS-ZM1 improved survival in infected mice and limited inflammation and associated perivascular pathology. Together, these results provide critical characterization of disease pathogenesis in the mouse model and implicate a role for RAGE signaling as a therapeutic target to improve outcomes following SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Benzamides/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Lung , Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Disease Models, Animal , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products/antagonists & inhibitors , Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products/genetics , Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products/metabolism
5.
Comput Biol Med ; 142: 105231, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616436

ABSTRACT

The advent and persistence of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus - 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-induced Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic since December 2019 has created the largest public health emergency in over a century. Despite the administration of multiple vaccines across the globe, there continues to be a lack of approved efficacious non-prophylactic interventions for the disease. Flavonoids are a class of phytochemicals with historically established antiviral, anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties that are effective against cancers, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and even other human coronaviruses. To identify the most promising bioactive flavonoids against the SARS-CoV-2, this article screened a virtual library of 46 bioactive flavonoids against three promising targets in the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle: human TMPRSS2 protein, 3CLpro, and PLpro. By examining the effects of glycosylation and other structural-activity relationships, the presence of sugar moiety in flavonoids significantly reduces its binding energy. It increases the solubility of flavonoids leading to reduced toxicity and higher bioavailability. Through protein-ligand contact profiling, it was concluded that naringin formed more hydrogen bonds with TMPRSS2 and 3CLpro. In contrast, hesperidin formed a more significant number of hydrogen bonds with PLpro. These observations were complimented by the 100 ns molecular dynamics simulation and binding free energy analysis, which showed a considerable stability of docked bioflavonoids in the active site of SARS-CoV-2 target proteins. Finally, the binding affinity and stability of the selected docked complexes were compared with the reference ligands (camostat for TMPRSS2, GC376 for 3CLpro, and GRL0617 for PLpro) that strongly inhibit their respective SARS-COV-2 targets. Overall analysis revealed that the selected flavonoids could be potential therapeutic agents against SARS-CoV-2. Naringin showed better affinity and stability for TMPRSS2 and 3CLpro, whereas hesperidin showed a better binding relationship and stability for PLpro.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 , Aniline Compounds , Animals , Benzamides , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Humans , Life Cycle Stages , Molecular Docking Simulation , Naphthalenes , SARS-CoV-2
6.
J Med Chem ; 65(1): 876-884, 2022 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606194

ABSTRACT

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.


Subject(s)
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
7.
Neuropharmacology ; 207: 108935, 2022 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1586929

ABSTRACT

AIMS: Acetaminophen or paracetamol (PAR), the recommended antipyretic in COVID-19 and clinically used to alleviate stroke-associated hyperthermia interestingly activates cannabinoid receptor (CB1) through its AM404 metabolite, however, to date, no study reports the in vivo activation of PAR/AM404/CB1 axis in stroke. The current study deciphers the neuroprotective effect off PAR in cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (IR) rat model and unmasks its link with AM404/CB1/PI3K/Akt axis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Animals were allocated into 5 groups: (I) sham-operated (SO), (II) IR, (III) IR + PAR (100 mg/kg), (IV) IR + PAR (100 mg/kg) + URB597; anandamide degradation inhibitor (0.3 mg/kg) and (V) IR + PAR (100 mg/kg) + AM4113; CB1 Blocker (5 mg/kg). All drugs were intraperitoneally administered at the inception of the reperfusion period. KEY FINDINGS: PAR administration alleviated the cognitive impairment in the Morris Water Maze as well as hippocampal histopathological and immunohistochemical examination of GFAP. The PAR signaling was associated with elevation of anandamide level, CB1 receptor expression and survival proteins as pS473-Akt. P(tyr202/thr204)-ERK1/2 and pS9-GSK3ß. Simultaneously, PAR increased hippocampal BDNF and ß-arrestin1 levels and decreased glutamate level. PAR restores the deranged redox milieu induced by IR Injury, by reducing lipid peroxides, myeloperoxidase activity and NF-κB and increasing NPSH, total antioxidant capacity, nitric oxide and Nrf2 levels. The pre-administration of AM4113 reversed PAR effects, while URB597 potentiated them. SIGNIFICANCE: PAR poses a significant neuroprotective effect which may be mediated, at least in part, via activation of anandamide/CB1/PI3K/Akt pathway in the IR rat model.


Subject(s)
Acetaminophen/pharmacology , Antipyretics/pharmacology , Benzamides/pharmacology , Carbamates/pharmacology , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Hippocampus/drug effects , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/drug effects , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/drug effects , Receptor, Cannabinoid, CB1/metabolism , Reperfusion Injury/metabolism , Amidohydrolases/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , Arachidonic Acids/metabolism , Cannabinoid Receptor Antagonists/pharmacology , Endocannabinoids/metabolism , Hippocampus/blood supply , Hippocampus/metabolism , Hippocampus/physiopathology , Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases/metabolism , Polyunsaturated Alkamides/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Rats , Reperfusion Injury/physiopathology
8.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(24)2021 Dec 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580690

ABSTRACT

Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, pharmaceutical companies and research groups have focused on the development of vaccines and antiviral drugs against SARS-CoV-2. Here, we apply a drug repurposing strategy to identify drug candidates that are able to block the entrance of the virus into human cells. By combining virtual screening with in vitro pseudovirus assays and antiviral assays in Human Lung Tissue (HLT) cells, we identify entrectinib as a potential antiviral drug.


Subject(s)
Benzamides/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Indazoles/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Benzamides/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Drug Repositioning/methods , Humans , Indazoles/metabolism , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Vero Cells , Virus Attachment/drug effects
9.
J Phys Chem B ; 125(50): 13644-13656, 2021 12 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1569201

ABSTRACT

Global public health has been a critical problem by the sudden increase of the COVID-19 outbreak. The papain-like protease (PLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 is a key promising target for antiviral drug development since it plays a pivotal role in viral replication and innate immunity. Here, we employed the all-atom molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and binding free energy calculations based on MM-PB(GB)SA and SIE methods to elucidate and compare the binding behaviors of five inhibitors derived from peptidomimetic inhibitors (VIR250 and VIR251) and naphthalene-based inhibitors (GRL-0617, compound 3, and compound Y96) against SARS-CoV-2 PLpro. The obtained results revealed that all inhibitors interacting within the PLpro active site are mostly driven by vdW interactions, and the hydrogen bond formation in residues G163 and G271 with peptidomimetics and the Q269 residue with naphthalene-based inhibitors was essential for stabilizing the protein-ligand complexes. Among the five studied inhibitors, VIR250 exhibited the most binding efficiency with SARS-CoV-2 PLpro, and thus, it was chosen for the rational drug design. Based on the computationally designed ligand-protein complexes, the replacement of aromatic rings including heteroatoms (e.g., thiazolopyridine) at the P2 and P4 sites could help to improve the inhibitor-binding efficiency. Furthermore, the hydrophobic interactions with residues at P1-P3 sites can be increased by enlarging the nonpolar moieties (e.g., ethene) at the N-terminal of VIR250. We expect that the structural data obtained will contribute to the development of new PLpro inhibitors with more inhibitory potency for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Aniline Compounds , Benzamides , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases , Drug Design , Humans , Naphthalenes , Papain
10.
Eur Urol ; 81(3): 285-293, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1568696

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Men are more severely affected by COVID-19. Testosterone may influence SARS-CoV-2 infection and the immune response. OBJECTIVE: To clinically, epidemiologically, and experimentally evaluate the effect of antiandrogens on SARS-CoV-2 infection. DESIGNS, SETTINGS, AND PARTICIPANTS: A randomized phase 2 clinical trial (COVIDENZA) enrolled 42 hospitalized COVID-19 patients before safety evaluation. We also conducted a population-based retrospective study of 7894 SARS-CoV-2-positive prostate cancer patients and an experimental study using an air-liquid interface three-dimensional culture model of primary lung cells. INTERVENTION: In COVIDENZA, patients were randomized 2:1 to 5 d of enzalutamide or standard of care. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS: The primary outcomes in COVIDENZA were the time to mechanical ventilation or discharge from hospital. The population-based study investigated risk of hospitalization, intensive care, and death from COVID-19 after androgen inhibition. RESULTS AND LIMITATIONS: Enzalutamide-treated patients required longer hospitalization (hazard ratio [HR] for discharge from hospital 0.43, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.20-0.93) and the trial was terminated early. In the epidemiological study, no preventive effects were observed. The frail population of patients treated with androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) in combination with abiraterone acetate or enzalutamide had a higher risk of dying from COVID-19 (HR 2.51, 95% CI 1.52-4.16). In vitro data showed no effect of enzalutamide on virus replication. The epidemiological study has limitations that include residual confounders. CONCLUSIONS: The results do not support a therapeutic effect of enzalutamide or preventive effects of bicalutamide or ADT in COVID-19. Thus, these antiandrogens should not be used for hospitalized COVID-19 patients or as prevention for COVID-19. Further research on these therapeutics in this setting are not warranted. PATIENT SUMMARY: We studied whether inhibition of testosterone could diminish COVID-19 symptoms. We found no evidence of an effect in a clinical study or in epidemiological or experimental investigations. We conclude that androgen inhibition should not be used for prevention or treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Androgen Antagonists/therapeutic use , Anilides/therapeutic use , Benzamides/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Nitriles/therapeutic use , Phenylthiohydantoin/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Tosyl Compounds/therapeutic use , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Androgens/therapeutic use , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19 Nucleic Acid Testing , Female , Hospitalization , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , Sweden/epidemiology , Testosterone , Treatment Outcome
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 23315, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550334

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for the identification of new antiviral drug therapies for a variety of diseases. COVID-19 is caused by infection with the human coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, while other related human coronaviruses cause diseases ranging from severe respiratory infections to the common cold. We developed a computational approach to identify new antiviral drug targets and repurpose clinically-relevant drug compounds for the treatment of a range of human coronavirus diseases. Our approach is based on graph convolutional networks (GCN) and involves multiscale host-virus interactome analysis coupled to off-target drug predictions. Cell-based experimental assessment reveals several clinically-relevant drug repurposing candidates predicted by the in silico analyses to have antiviral activity against human coronavirus infection. In particular, we identify the MET inhibitor capmatinib as having potent and broad antiviral activity against several coronaviruses in a MET-independent manner, as well as novel roles for host cell proteins such as IRAK1/4 in supporting human coronavirus infection, which can inform further drug discovery studies.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus/metabolism , Drug Development/methods , Drug Repositioning/methods , Benzamides/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Line , Computer Simulation , Coronavirus/chemistry , Databases, Pharmaceutical , Drug Discovery/methods , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Imidazoles/pharmacology , Interleukin-1 Receptor-Associated Kinases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Triazines/pharmacology
12.
EBioMedicine ; 74: 103712, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1536515

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Despite clinical success with anti-spike vaccines, the effectiveness of neutralizing antibodies and vaccines has been compromised by rapidly spreading SARS-CoV-2 variants. Viruses can hijack the glycosylation machinery of host cells to shield themselves from the host's immune response and attenuate antibody efficiency. However, it remains unclear if targeting glycosylation on viral spike protein can impair infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 and its variants. METHODS: We adopted flow cytometry, ELISA, and BioLayer interferometry approaches to assess binding of glycosylated or deglycosylated spike with ACE2. Viral entry was determined by luciferase, immunoblotting, and immunofluorescence assays. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) revealed a significant relationship between STT3A and COVID-19 severity. NF-κB/STT3A-regulated N-glycosylation was investigated by gene knockdown, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and promoter assay. We developed an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) that couples non-neutralization anti-spike antibody with NGI-1 (4G10-ADC) to specifically target SARS-CoV-2-infected cells. FINDINGS: The receptor binding domain and three distinct SARS-CoV-2 surface N-glycosylation sites among 57,311 spike proteins retrieved from the NCBI-Virus-database are highly evolutionarily conserved (99.67%) and are involved in ACE2 interaction. STT3A is a key glycosyltransferase catalyzing spike glycosylation and is positively correlated with COVID-19 severity. We found that inhibiting STT3A using N-linked glycosylation inhibitor-1 (NGI-1) impaired SARS-CoV-2 infectivity and that of its variants [Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351)]. Most importantly, 4G10-ADC enters SARS-CoV-2-infected cells and NGI-1 is subsequently released to deglycosylate spike protein, thereby reinforcing the neutralizing abilities of antibodies, vaccines, or convalescent sera and reducing SARS-CoV-2 variant infectivity. INTERPRETATION: Our results indicate that targeting evolutionarily-conserved STT3A-mediated glycosylation via an ADC can exert profound impacts on SARS-CoV-2 variant infectivity. Thus, we have identified a novel deglycosylation method suitable for eradicating SARS-CoV-2 variant infection in vitro. FUNDING: A full list of funding bodies that contributed to this study can be found in the Acknowledgements section.


Subject(s)
Benzamides/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Glycosylation/drug effects , Hexosyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , Membrane Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Sulfonamides/pharmacology , Virus Internalization/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Cell Line , HEK293 Cells , Hexosyltransferases/metabolism , Humans , Membrane Proteins/metabolism , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
13.
Acc Chem Res ; 54(23): 4283-4293, 2021 12 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1521679

ABSTRACT

After decades of extensive fundamental studies and clinical trials, lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) have demonstrated effective mRNA delivery such as the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines fighting against COVID-19. Moreover, researchers and clinicians have been investigating mRNA therapeutics for a variety of therapeutic indications including protein replacement therapy, genome editing, and cancer immunotherapy. To realize these therapeutics in the clinic, there are many formidable challenges. First, novel delivery systems such as LNPs with high delivery efficiency and low toxicity need to be developed for different cell types. Second, mRNA molecules need to be engineered for improved pharmaceutical properties. Lastly, the LNP-mRNA nanoparticle formulations need to match their therapeutic applications.In this Account, we summarize our recent advances in the design and development of various classes of lipids and lipid derivatives, which can be formulated with multiple types of mRNA molecules to treat diverse diseases. For example, we conceived a series of ionizable lipid-like molecules based on the structures of a benzene core, an amide linker, and hydrophobic tails. We identified N1,N3,N5-tris(3-(didodecylamino)propyl)benzene-1,3,5-tricarboxamide (TT3) as a lead compound for mRNA delivery both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, we tuned the biodegradability of these lipid-like molecules by introducing branched ester or linear ester chains. Meanwhile, inspired by biomimetic compounds, we synthesized vitamin-derived lipids, chemotherapeutic conjugated lipids, phospholipids, and glycolipids. These scaffolds greatly broaden the chemical space of ionizable lipids for mRNA delivery. In another section, we highlight our efforts on the research direction of mRNA engineering. We previously optimized mRNA chemistry using chemically-modified nucleotides to increase the protein expression, such as pseudouridine (ψ), 5-methoxyuridine (5moU), and N1-methylpseudouridine (me1ψ). Also, we engineered the sequences of mRNA 5' untranslated regions (5'-UTRs) and 3' untranslated regions (3'-UTRs), which dramatically enhanced protein expression. With the progress of LNP development and mRNA engineering, we consolidate these technologies and apply them to treat diseases such as genetic disorders, infectious diseases, and cancers. For instance, TT3 and its analog-derived lipid-like nanoparticles can effectively deliver factor IX or VIII mRNA and recover the clotting activity in hemophilia mouse models. Engineered mRNAs encoding SARS-CoV-2 antigens serve well as vaccine candidates against COVID-19. Vitamin-derived lipid nanoparticles loaded with antimicrobial peptide-cathepsin B mRNA enable adoptive macrophage transfer to treat multidrug resistant bacterial sepsis. Biomimetic lipids such as phospholipids formulated with mRNAs encoding costimulatory receptors lead to enhanced cancer immunotherapy.Overall, lipid-mRNA nanoparticle formulations have considerably benefited public health in the COVID-19 pandemic. To expand their applications in clinical use, research work from many disciplines such as chemistry, engineering, materials, pharmaceutical sciences, and medicine need to be integrated. With these collaborative efforts, we believe that more and more lipid-mRNA nanoparticle formulations will enter the clinic in the near future and benefit human health.


Subject(s)
Drug Carriers/chemistry , Liposomes/chemistry , Nanoparticles/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , Animals , Benzamides/chemistry , Biomimetic Materials/chemistry , Communicable Diseases/immunology , Communicable Diseases/therapy , Disease Models, Animal , Genetic Diseases, Inborn/immunology , Genetic Diseases, Inborn/therapy , Humans , Mice , Neoplasms/immunology , Neoplasms/therapy , Phospholipids/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/therapeutic use , Untranslated Regions , Vitamins/chemistry
14.
Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis ; 25(1): 117-118, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1461989

ABSTRACT

Data regarding the safety and efficacy of COVID-10 vaccines among cancer patients are lacking. Factors such as age, underlying disease and antineoplastic treatment confer negatively to the immune response due to vaccination. The degree of immunosuppression though may be lessen by targeted treatments like the androgen receptor-targeted agents (ARTA) that are commonly used in patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Herein, we report our data on 25 patients with prostate cancer under treatment with ARTA who were vaccinated for COVID-19. Our data suggest that these patients develop neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 similarly to healthy volunteers. No safety issues were noted.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents , COVID-19 , Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant , Androstenes , Antineoplastic Agents/therapeutic use , Benzamides , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Humans , Male , Nitriles , Phenylthiohydantoin , Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant/drug therapy , Prostatic Neoplasms, Castration-Resistant/pathology , SARS-CoV-2 , Treatment Outcome , Vaccination
15.
Sci Adv ; 6(28): eabb8097, 2020 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1388430

ABSTRACT

The prevalence of respiratory illness caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus associated with multiple organ failures is spreading rapidly because of its contagious human-to-human transmission and inadequate globalhealth care systems. Pharmaceutical repurposing, an effective drug development technique using existing drugs, could shorten development time and reduce costs compared to those of de novo drug discovery. We carried out virtual screening of antiviral compounds targeting the spike glycoprotein (S), main protease (Mpro), and the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD)-angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) complex of SARS-CoV-2. PC786, an antiviral polymerase inhibitor, showed enhanced binding affinity to all the targets. Furthermore, the postfusion conformation of the trimeric S protein RBD with ACE2 revealed conformational changes associated with PC786 drug binding. Exploiting immunoinformatics to identify T cell and B cell epitopes could guide future experimental studies with a higher probability of discovering appropriate vaccine candidates with fewer experiments and higher reliability.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/prevention & control , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Drug Design , Pandemics/prevention & control , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Pneumonia, Viral/prevention & control , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Benzamides , Benzazepines , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/immunology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/drug effects , Epitopes, B-Lymphocyte/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/drug effects , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/immunology , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Spiro Compounds/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/immunology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
16.
Science ; 373(6557): 931-936, 2021 08 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319369

ABSTRACT

There is an urgent need for antiviral agents that treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. We screened a library of 1900 clinically safe drugs against OC43, a human beta coronavirus that causes the common cold, and evaluated the top hits against SARS-CoV-2. Twenty drugs significantly inhibited replication of both viruses in cultured human cells. Eight of these drugs inhibited the activity of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease, 3CLpro, with the most potent being masitinib, an orally bioavailable tyrosine kinase inhibitor. X-ray crystallography and biochemistry show that masitinib acts as a competitive inhibitor of 3CLpro. Mice infected with SARS-CoV-2 and then treated with masitinib showed >200-fold reduction in viral titers in the lungs and nose, as well as reduced lung inflammation. Masitinib was also effective in vitro against all tested variants of concern (B.1.1.7, B.1.351, and P.1).


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus OC43, Human/drug effects , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Thiazoles/pharmacology , A549 Cells , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Benzamides , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus OC43, Human/physiology , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Mice , Mice, Transgenic , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Piperidines , Pyridines , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Thiazoles/chemistry , Thiazoles/metabolism , Thiazoles/therapeutic use , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
17.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4068, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294463

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 attacks various organs, most destructively the lung, and cellular entry requires two host cell surface proteins: ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Downregulation of one or both of these is thus a potential therapeutic approach for COVID-19. TMPRSS2 is a known target of the androgen receptor, a ligand-activated transcription factor; androgen receptor activation increases TMPRSS2 levels in various tissues, most notably prostate. We show here that treatment with the antiandrogen enzalutamide-a well-tolerated drug widely used in advanced prostate cancer-reduces TMPRSS2 levels in human lung cells and in mouse lung. Importantly, antiandrogens significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 entry and infection in lung cells. In support of this experimental data, analysis of existing datasets shows striking co-expression of AR and TMPRSS2, including in specific lung cell types targeted by SARS-CoV-2. Together, the data presented provides strong evidence to support clinical trials to assess the efficacy of antiandrogens as a treatment option for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Androgen Antagonists/pharmacology , Benzamides/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Nitriles/pharmacology , Phenylthiohydantoin/pharmacology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemical synthesis , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Female , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Male , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics
18.
Biochem J ; 478(13): 2517-2531, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290988

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as the biggest life-threatening disease of this century. Whilst vaccination should provide a long-term solution, this is pitted against the constant threat of mutations in the virus rendering the current vaccines less effective. Consequently, small molecule antiviral agents would be extremely useful to complement the vaccination program. The causative agent of COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which encodes at least nine enzymatic activities that all have drug targeting potential. The papain-like protease (PLpro) contained in the nsp3 protein generates viral non-structural proteins from a polyprotein precursor, and cleaves ubiquitin and ISG protein conjugates. Here we describe the expression and purification of PLpro. We developed a protease assay that was used to screen a custom compound library from which we identified dihydrotanshinone I and Ro 08-2750 as compounds that inhibit PLpro in protease and isopeptidase assays and also inhibit viral replication in cell culture-based assays.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Aniline Compounds/pharmacology , Animals , Benzamides/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Drug Synergism , Enzyme Assays , Flavins/pharmacology , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Furans/pharmacology , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Naphthalenes/pharmacology , Phenanthrenes/pharmacology , Quinones/pharmacology , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
19.
ChemMedChem ; 16(15): 2339-2344, 2021 08 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1272172

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection continues to be a global health problem. Despite the current implementation of COVID-19 vaccination schedules, identifying effective antiviral drug treatments for this disease continues to be a priority. A recent study showed that masitinib (MST), a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, blocks the proteolytic activity of SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro ). Although MST is a potential candidate for COVID-19 treatment, a comprehensive analysis of its interaction with Mpro has not been done. In this work, we performed molecular dynamics simulations of the MST-Mpro complex crystal structure. The effect of the protonation states of Mpro H163 residue and MST titratable groups were studied. Furthermore, we identified the MST substituents and Mpro mutations that affect the stability of the complex. Our results provide valuable insights into the design of new MST analogs as potential treatments for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Thiazoles/metabolism , Benzamides , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Hydrogen Bonding , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Piperidines , Protein Binding , Pyridines , Static Electricity , Thiazoles/chemistry
20.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11130, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246392

ABSTRACT

The sex discordance in COVID-19 outcomes has been widely recognized, with males generally faring worse than females and a potential link to sex steroids. A plausible mechanism is androgen-induced expression of TMPRSS2 and/or ACE2 in pulmonary tissues that may increase susceptibility or severity in males. This hypothesis is the subject of several clinical trials of anti-androgen therapies around the world. Here, we investigated the sex-associated TMPRSS2 and ACE2 expression in human and mouse lungs and interrogated the possibility of pharmacologic modification of their expression with anti-androgens. We found no evidence for increased TMPRSS2 expression in the lungs of males compared to females in humans or mice. Furthermore, in male mice, treatment with the androgen receptor antagonist enzalutamide did not decrease pulmonary TMPRSS2. On the other hand, ACE2 and AR expression was sexually dimorphic and higher in males than females. ACE2 was moderately suppressible with enzalutamide administration. Our work suggests that sex differences in COVID-19 outcomes attributable to viral entry are independent of TMPRSS2. Modest changes in ACE2 could account for some of the sex discordance.


Subject(s)
Angiogenesis Inhibitors/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Lung/drug effects , Receptors, Androgen/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Androgen Receptor Antagonists/pharmacology , Androgens , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Benzamides/pharmacology , COVID-19/genetics , Cell Line, Tumor , Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Sequencing , Female , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Gene Expression Regulation/genetics , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Male , Mice , Nitriles/pharmacology , Phenylthiohydantoin/pharmacology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Smokers
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