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1.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 5196, 2022 09 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2008279

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the pathogen that causes COVID-19, produces polyproteins 1a and 1ab that contain, respectively, 11 or 16 non-structural proteins (nsp). Nsp5 is the main protease (Mpro) responsible for cleavage at eleven positions along these polyproteins, including at its own N- and C-terminal boundaries, representing essential processing events for viral assembly and maturation. Using C-terminally substituted Mpro chimeras, we have determined X-ray crystallographic structures of Mpro in complex with 10 of its 11 viral cleavage sites, bound at full occupancy intermolecularly in trans, within the active site of either the native enzyme and/or a catalytic mutant (C145A). Capture of both acyl-enzyme intermediate and product-like complex forms of a P2(Leu) substrate in the native active site provides direct comparative characterization of these mechanistic steps as well as further informs the basis for enhanced product release of Mpro's own unique C-terminal P2(Phe) cleavage site to prevent autoinhibition. We characterize the underlying noncovalent interactions governing binding and specificity for this diverse set of substrates, showing remarkable plasticity for subsites beyond the anchoring P1(Gln)-P2(Leu/Val/Phe), representing together a near complete analysis of a multiprocessing viral protease. Collectively, these crystallographic snapshots provide valuable mechanistic and structural insights for antiviral therapeutic development.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Polyproteins , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Humans , Peptide Hydrolases , Polyproteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/chemistry , X-Rays
2.
J Virol ; 96(17): e0090722, 2022 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2001774

ABSTRACT

The rapid global emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has caused serious health problems, highlighting the urgent need for antiviral drugs. The viral main protease (Mpro) plays an important role in viral replication and thus remains the target of choice for the prevention or treatment of several viral diseases due to high sequence and structural conservation. Prolonged use of viral protease inhibitors can lead to the development of mutants resistant to those inhibitors and to many of the available antiviral drugs. Here, we used feline infectious peritonitis virus (FIPV) as a model to investigate its development of resistance under pressure from the Mpro inhibitor GC376. Passage of wild-type (WT) FIPV in the presence of GC376 selected for a mutation in the nsp12 region where Mpro cleaves the substrate between nsp12 and nsp13. This mutation confers up to 3-fold resistance to GC376 and nirmatrelvir, as determined by EC50 assay. In vitro biochemical and cellular experiments confirmed that FIPV adapts to the stress of GC376 by mutating the nsp12 and nsp13 hydrolysis site to facilitate cleavage by Mpro and release to mediate replication and transcription. Finally, we demonstrate that GC376 cannot treat FIP-resistant mutants that cause FIP in animals. Taken together, these results suggest that Mpro affects the replication of coronaviruses (CoVs) and the drug resistance to GC376 by regulating the amount of RdRp from a distant site. These findings provide further support for the use of an antiviral drug combination as a broad-spectrum therapy to protect against contemporary and emerging CoVs. IMPORTANCE CoVs cause serious human infections, and antiviral drugs are currently approved to treat these infections. The development of protease-targeting therapeutics for CoV infection is hindered by resistance mutations. Therefore, we should pay attention to its resistance to antiviral drugs. Here, we identified possible mutations that lead to relapse after clinical treatment of FIP. One amino acid substitution in the nsp12 polymerase at the Mpro cleavage site provided low-level resistance to GC376 after selection exposure to the GC376 parental nucleoside. Resistance mutations enhanced FIPV viral fitness in vitro and attenuated the therapeutic effect of GC376 in an animal model of FIPV infection. Our research explains the evolutionary characteristics of coronaviruses under antiviral drugs, which is helpful for a more comprehensive understanding of the molecular basis of virus resistance and provides important basic data for the effective prevention and control of CoVs.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus, Feline , Drug Resistance, Viral , Mutation , Protease Inhibitors , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cats/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus, Feline/drug effects , Coronavirus, Feline/enzymology , Coronavirus, Feline/genetics , Drug Resistance, Viral/genetics , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology
3.
Eur J Med Chem ; 238: 114508, 2022 Aug 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1982957

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 posed a serious threat to human life and health, and SARS-CoV-2 Mpro has been considered as an attractive drug target for the treatment of COVID-19. Herein, we report 2-(furan-2-ylmethylene)hydrazine-1-carbothioamide derivatives as novel inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro developed by in-house library screening and biological evaluation. Similarity search led to the identification of compound F8-S43 with the enzymatic IC50 value of 10.76 µM. Further structure-based drug design and synthetic optimization uncovered compounds F8-B6 and F8-B22 as novel non-peptidomimetic inhibitors of Mpro with IC50 values of 1.57 µM and 1.55 µM, respectively. Moreover, enzymatic kinetic assay and mass spectrometry demonstrated that F8-B6 was a reversible covalent inhibitor of Mpro. Besides, F8-B6 showed low cytotoxicity with CC50 values of more than 100 µM in Vero and MDCK cells. Overall, these novel SARS-CoV-2 Mpro non-peptidomimetic inhibitors provide a useful starting point for further structural optimization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Furans , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Drug Discovery/methods , Furans/chemistry , Furans/pharmacology , Humans , Hydrazines/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
4.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 616: 8-13, 2022 08 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1982607

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) provoked a pandemic of acute respiratory disease, namely coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Currently, effective drugs for this disease are urgently warranted. Anisodamine is a traditional Chinese medicine that is predicted as a potential therapeutic drug for the treatment of COVID-19. Therefore, this study aimed to investigate its antiviral activity and crucial targets in SARS-CoV-2 infection. SARS-CoV-2 and anisodamine were co-cultured in Vero E6 cells, and the antiviral activity of anisodamine was assessed by immunofluorescence assay. The antiviral activity of anisodamine was further measured by pseudovirus entry assay in HEK293/hACE2 cells. Finally, the predictions of crucial targets of anisodamine on SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed by molecular docking studies. We discovered that anisodamine suppressed SARS-CoV-2 infection in Vero E6 cells, and reduced the SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus entry to HEK293/hACE2 cells. Furthermore, molecular docking studies indicated that anisodamine may target SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) with the docking score of -6.63 kcal/mol and formed three H-bonds with Gly143, Cys145, and Cys44 amino acid residues at the predicted active site of Mpro. This study suggests that anisodamine is a potent antiviral agent for treating COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , SARS-CoV-2 , Solanaceous Alkaloids , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/drug effects , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptide Hydrolases , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Solanaceous Alkaloids/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry
5.
PLoS One ; 17(2): e0263251, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1938414

ABSTRACT

The main protease (3CLpro) is one of the essential components of the SARS-CoVs viral life cycle, which makes it an interesting target for overpowering these viruses. Although many covalent and noncovalent inhibitors have been designed to inhibit this molecular target, none have gained FDA approval as a drug. Because of the high rate of COVID-19 pandemic development, in addition to laboratory research, we require in silico methods to accelerate rational drug design. The unbinding pathways of two SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro noncovalent inhibitors with the PDB IDs: 3V3M, 4MDS, 6W63, 5RF7 were explored from a comparative perspective using unbiased molecular dynamics (UMD) simulations. We uncovered common weak points for selected inhibitors that could not interact significantly with a binding pocket at specific residues by all their fragments. So water molecules entered the free binding S regions and weakened protein-inhibitor fundamental interactions gradually. N142, G143, and H163 are the essential residues, which cause key protein-ligand interactions in the binding pocket. We believe that these results will help design new potent inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Drug Design , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
6.
J Biol Chem ; 298(6): 102023, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1930937

ABSTRACT

3C-like protease (3CLpro) processes and liberates functional viral proteins essential for the maturation and infectivity of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. It has been suggested that 3CLpro is catalytically active as a dimer, making the dimerization interface a target for antiviral development. Guided by structural analysis, here we introduced single amino acid substitutions at nine residues at three key sites of the dimer interface to assess their impact on dimerization and activity. We show that at site 1, alanine substitution of S1 or E166 increased by twofold or reduced relative activity, respectively. At site 2, alanine substitution of S10 or E14 eliminated activity, whereas K12A exhibited ∼60% relative activity. At site 3, alanine substitution of R4, E290, or Q299 eliminated activity, whereas S139A exhibited 46% relative activity. We further found that the oligomerization states of the dimer interface mutants varied; the inactive mutants R4A, R4Q, S10A/C, E14A/D/Q/S, E290A, and Q299A/E were present as dimers, demonstrating that dimerization is not an indication of catalytically active 3CLpro. In addition, present mostly as monomers, K12A displayed residual activity, which could be attributed to the conspicuous amount of dimer present. Finally, differential scanning calorimetry did not reveal a direct relationship between the thermodynamic stability of mutants with oligomerization or catalytic activity. These results provide insights on two allosteric sites, R4/E290 and S10/E14, that may promote the design of antiviral compounds that target the dimer interface rather than the active site of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 3CLpro.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases , SARS-CoV-2 , Alanine/chemistry , Amino Acid Substitution , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Protein Multimerization , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
7.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 1299, 2022 01 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1908217

ABSTRACT

Recently, an international randomized controlled clinical trial showed that patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection treated orally with the 3-chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLpro) inhibitor PF-07321332 within three days of symptom onset showed an 89% lower risk of COVID-19-related hospital admission/ death from any cause as compared with the patients who received placebo. Lending support to this critically important result of the aforementioned trial, we demonstrated in our study that patients infected with a SARS-Cov-2 sub-lineage (B.1.1.284) carrying the Pro108Ser mutation in 3CLpro tended to have a comparatively milder clinical course (i.e., a smaller proportion of patients required oxygen supplementation during the clinical course) than patients infected with the same sub-lineage of virus not carrying the mutation. Characterization of the mutant 3CLpro revealed that the Kcat/Km of the 3CLpro enzyme containing Ser108 was 58% lower than that of Pro108 3CLpro. Hydrogen/deuterium-exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) revealed that the reduced activity was associated with structural perturbation surrounding the substrate-binding region of the enzyme, which is positioned behind and distant from the 108th amino acid residue. Our findings of the attenuated clinical course of COVID-19 in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 strains with reduced 3CLpro enzymatic activity greatly endorses the promising result of the aforementioned clinical trial of the 3CLpro inhibitor.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Mutation, Missense , Patient Acuity , Adult , Aged , Amino Acid Substitution , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged
8.
Viruses ; 14(5)2022 05 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1855818

ABSTRACT

The dysregulation of host signaling pathways plays a critical role in severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and viral pathogenesis. While a number of viral proteins that can block type I IFN signaling have been identified, a comprehensive analysis of SARS-CoV-2 proteins in the regulation of other signaling pathways that can be critical for viral infection and its pathophysiology is still lacking. Here, we screened the effect of 21 SARS-CoV-2 proteins on 10 different host signaling pathways, namely, Wnt, p53, TGFß, c-Myc, Hypoxia, Hippo, AP-1, Notch, Oct4/Sox2, and NF-κB, using a luciferase reporter assay. As a result, we identified several SARS-CoV-2 proteins that could act as activators or inhibitors for distinct signaling pathways in the context of overexpression in HEK293T cells. We also provided evidence for p53 being an intrinsic host restriction factor of SARS-CoV-2. We found that the overexpression of p53 is capable of reducing virus production, while the main viral protease nsp5 can repress the transcriptional activity of p53, which depends on the protease function of nsp5. Taken together, our results provide a foundation for future studies, which can explore how the dysregulation of specific signaling pathways by SARS-CoV-2 proteins can control viral infection and pathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Signal Transduction , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/metabolism
9.
Mol Cell ; 82(13): 2385-2400.e9, 2022 07 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1851815

ABSTRACT

Inflammation observed in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients suggests that inflammasomes, proinflammatory intracellular complexes, regulate various steps of infection. Lung epithelial cells express inflammasome-forming sensors and constitute the primary entry door of SARS-CoV-2. Here, we describe that the NLRP1 inflammasome detects SARS-CoV-2 infection in human lung epithelial cells. Specifically, human NLRP1 is cleaved at the Q333 site by multiple coronavirus 3CL proteases, which triggers inflammasome assembly and cell death and limits the production of infectious viral particles. Analysis of NLRP1-associated pathways unveils that 3CL proteases also inactivate the pyroptosis executioner Gasdermin D (GSDMD). Subsequently, caspase-3 and GSDME promote alternative cell pyroptosis. Finally, analysis of pyroptosis markers in plasma from COVID-19 patients with characterized severe pneumonia due to autoantibodies against, or inborn errors of, type I interferons (IFNs) highlights GSDME/caspase-3 as potential markers of disease severity. Overall, our findings identify NLRP1 as a sensor of SARS-CoV-2 infection in lung epithelia.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Epithelial Cells , Inflammasomes , NLR Proteins , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Caspase 3/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Humans , Inflammasomes/genetics , Inflammasomes/metabolism , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , NLR Proteins/genetics , NLR Proteins/metabolism , Peptide Hydrolases/genetics , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Phosphate-Binding Proteins/genetics , Phosphate-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins/genetics , Pore Forming Cytotoxic Proteins/metabolism , Pyroptosis , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
10.
Biophys Chem ; 287: 106829, 2022 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850725

ABSTRACT

The viral main protease (Mpro) from a novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a key enzyme essential for viral replication and has become an attractive target for antiviral drug development. The Mpro forms a functional dimer and exhibits a pH-dependent enzyme activity and dimerization. Here, we report a molecular dynamics (MD) investigation to gain insights into the structural stability of the enzyme dimer at neutral and acidic pH. Our data shows larger changes in structure of the protein with the acidic pH than that with the neutral pH. Structural analysis of MD trajectories reveals a substantial increase in intersubunit separation, the loss of domain contacts, binding free energy and interaction energy of the dimer which implies the protein instability and tendency of dimer dissociation at acidic pH. The loss in the interaction energy is mainly driven by electrostatic interactions. We have identified the intersubunit hydrogen-bonding residues involved in the decreased dimer stability. These findings may be helpful for rational drug design and target evaluation against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
11.
Bioorg Med Chem Lett ; 58: 128526, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814173

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted global economies and public health. Although vaccine development has been successful, it was not sufficient against more infectious mutant strains including the Delta variant indicating a need for alternative treatment strategies such as small molecular compound development. In this work, a series of SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) inhibitors were designed and tested based on the active compound from high-throughput diverse compound library screens. The most efficacious compound (16b-3) displayed potent SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibition with an IC50 value of 116 nM and selectivity against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro when compared to PLpro and RdRp. This new class of compounds could be used as potential leads for further optimization in anti COVID-19 drug discovery.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Discovery , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Thiazoles/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Structure , Protease Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Thiazoles/chemical synthesis , Thiazoles/chemistry
12.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 209(Pt A): 984-990, 2022 Jun 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1796725

ABSTRACT

MERS-CoV main protease (Mpro) is essential for the maturation of the coronavirus; therefore, considered a potential drug target. Detailed conformational information is essential to developing antiviral therapeutics. However, the conformation of MERS-CoV Mpro under different conditions is poorly characterized. In this study, MERS-CoV Mpro was recombinantly produced in E.coli and characterized its structural stability with respect to changes in pH and temperatures. The intrinsic and extrinsic fluorescence measurements revealed that MERS-CoV Mpro tertiary structure was exposed to the polar environment due to the unfolding of the tertiary structure. However, the secondary structure of MERS-CoV Mpro was gained at low pH because of charge-charge repulsion. Furthermore, differential scanning fluorometry studies of Mpro showed a single thermal transition at all pHs except at pH 2.0; no transitions were observed. The data from the spectroscopic studies suggest that the MERS-CoV Mpro forms a molten globule-like state at pH 2.0. Insilico studies showed that the covid-19 Mpro shows 96.08% and 50.65% similarity to that of SARS-CoV Mpro and MERS-CoV Mpro, respectively. This study provides a basic understanding of the thermodynamic and structural properties of MERS-CoV Mpro.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/enzymology , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Protein Conformation , Recombinant Proteins
13.
J Virol ; 96(8): e0003722, 2022 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779311

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to pose an enormous threat to economic activity and public health worldwide. Previous studies have shown that the nonstructural protein 5 (nsp5, also called 3C-like protease) of alpha- and deltacoronaviruses cleaves Q231 of the NF-κB essential modulator (NEMO), a key kinase in the RIG-I-like receptor pathway, to inhibit type I interferon (IFN) production. In this study, we found that both SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 and SARS-CoV nsp5 cleaved NEMO at multiple sites (E152, Q205, and Q231). Notably, SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 exhibited a stronger ability to cleave NEMO than SARS-CoV nsp5. Sequence and structural alignments suggested that an S/A polymorphism at position 46 of nsp5 in SARS-CoV versus SARS-CoV-2 may be responsible for this difference. Mutagenesis experiments showed that SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 (S46A) exhibited poorer cleavage of NEMO than SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 wild type (WT), while SARS-CoV nsp5 (A46S) showed enhanced NEMO cleavage compared with the WT protein. Purified recombinant SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 WT and SARS-CoV nsp5 (A46S) proteins exhibited higher hydrolysis efficiencies than SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 (S46A) and SARS-CoV nsp5 WT proteins in vitro. Furthermore, SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 exhibited stronger inhibition of Sendai virus (SEV)-induced interferon beta (IFN-ß) production than SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 (S46A), while introduction of the A46S substitution in SARS-CoV nsp5 enhanced suppression of SEV-induced IFN-ß production. Taken together, these data show that S46 is associated with the catalytic activity and IFN antagonism by SARS-CoV-2 nsp5. IMPORTANCE The nsp5-encoded 3C-like protease is the main coronavirus protease, playing a vital role in viral replication and immune evasion by cleaving viral polyproteins and host immune-related molecules. We showed that both SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 and SARS-CoV nsp5 cleave the NEMO at multiple sites (E152, Q205, and Q231). This specificity differs from NEMO cleavage by alpha- and deltacoronaviruses, demonstrating the distinct substrate recognition of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV nsp5. Compared with SARS-CoV nsp5, SARS-CoV-2 nsp5 encodes S instead of A at position 46. This substitution is associated with stronger catalytic activity, enhanced cleavage of NEMO, and increased interferon antagonism of SARS-CoV-2 nsp5. These data provide new insights into the pathogenesis and transmission of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Interferon Type I , SARS Virus , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Humans , Immune Evasion/genetics , Interferon Type I/antagonists & inhibitors , Interferon Type I/metabolism , SARS Virus/enzymology , SARS Virus/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/immunology , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/virology , Virus Replication/genetics
14.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 22796, 2021 11 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758351

ABSTRACT

The current severe situation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has not been reversed and posed great threats to global health. Therefore, there is an urgent need to find out effective antiviral drugs. The 3-chymotrypsin-like protease (3CLpro) in SARS-CoV-2 serve as a promising anti-virus target due to its essential role in the regulation of virus reproduction. Here, we report an improved integrated approach to identify effective 3CLpro inhibitors from effective Chinese herbal formulas. With this approach, we identified the 5 natural products (NPs) including narcissoside, kaempferol-3-O-gentiobioside, rutin, vicenin-2 and isoschaftoside as potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 candidates. Subsequent molecular dynamics simulation additionally revealed that these molecules can be tightly bound to 3CLpro and confirmed effectiveness against COVID-19. Moreover, kaempferol-3-o-gentiobioside, vicenin-2 and isoschaftoside were first reported to have SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitory activity. In summary, this optimized integrated strategy for drug screening can be utilized in the discovery of antiviral drugs to achieve rapid acquisition of drugs with specific effects on antiviral targets.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/analysis , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Biological Products/analysis , Biological Products/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Computational Biology/methods , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/drug effects , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Drug Discovery/methods , Flavonols/metabolism , Flavonols/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
15.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 2505, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747189

ABSTRACT

Mpro, the main protease of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is essential for the viral life cycle. Accordingly, several groups have performed in silico screens to identify Mpro inhibitors that might be used to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. We selected more than five hundred compounds from the top-ranking hits of two very large in silico screens for on-demand synthesis. We then examined whether these compounds could bind to Mpro and inhibit its protease activity. Two interesting chemotypes were identified, which were further evaluated by characterizing an additional five hundred synthesis on-demand analogues. The compounds of the first chemotype denatured Mpro and were considered not useful for further development. The compounds of the second chemotype bound to and enhanced the melting temperature of Mpro. The most active compound from this chemotype inhibited Mpro in vitro with an IC50 value of 1 µM and suppressed replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in tissue culture cells. Its mode of binding to Mpro was determined by X-ray crystallography, revealing that it is a non-covalent inhibitor. We propose that the inhibitors described here could form the basis for medicinal chemistry efforts that could lead to the development of clinically relevant inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Molecular Conformation , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nitriles/chemistry , Nitriles/metabolism , Nitriles/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Quinazolines/chemistry , Quinazolines/metabolism , Quinazolines/pharmacology , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/drug effects
16.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 160, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1721596

ABSTRACT

The role of dimer formation for the onset of catalytic activity of SARS-CoV-2 main protease (MProWT) was assessed using a predominantly monomeric mutant (MProM). Rates of MProWT and MProM catalyzed hydrolyses display substrate saturation kinetics and second-order dependency on the protein concentration. The addition of the prodrug GC376, an inhibitor of MProWT, to MProM leads to an increase in the dimer population and catalytic activity with increasing inhibitor concentration. The activity reaches a maximum corresponding to a dimer population in which one active site is occupied by the inhibitor and the other is available for catalytic activity. This phase is followed by a decrease in catalytic activity due to the inhibitor competing with the substrate. Detailed kinetics and equilibrium analyses are presented and a modified Michaelis-Menten equation accounts for the results. These observations provide conclusive evidence that dimer formation is coupled to catalytic activity represented by two equivalent active sites.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Catalysis , Catalytic Domain , Circular Dichroism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Pyrrolidines/chemistry , Sulfonic Acids/chemistry , Thermodynamics
17.
Molecules ; 27(5)2022 Mar 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715570

ABSTRACT

A new flavonoid, Jusanin, (1) has been isolated from the aerial parts of Artemisia commutata. The chemical structure of Jusanin has been elucidated using 1D, 2D NMR, and HR-Ms spectroscopic methods to be 5,2',4'-trihydroxy-6,7,5'-trimethoxyflavone. Being new in nature, the inhibition potential of 1 has been estimated against SARS-CoV-2 using different in silico techniques. Firstly, molecular similarity and fingerprint studies have been conducted for Jusanin against co-crystallized ligands of eight different SARS-CoV-2 essential proteins. The studies indicated the similarity between 1 and X77, the co-crystallized ligand SARS-CoV-2 main protease (PDB ID: 6W63). To confirm the obtained results, a DFT study was carried out and indicated the similarity of (total energy, HOMO, LUMO, gap energy, and dipole moment) between 1 and X77. Accordingly, molecular docking studies of 1 against the target enzyme have been achieved and showed that 1 bonded correctly in the protein's active site with a binding energy of -19.54 Kcal/mol. Additionally, in silico ADMET in addition to the toxicity evaluation of Jusanin against seven models have been preceded and indicated the general safety and the likeness of Jusanin to be a drug. Finally, molecular dynamics simulation studies were applied to investigate the dynamic behavior of the Mpro-Jusanin complex and confirmed the correct binding at 100 ns. In addition to 1, three other metabolites have been isolated and identified to be сapillartemisin A (2), methyl-3-[S-hydroxyprenyl]-cumarate (3), and ß-sitosterol (4).


Subject(s)
Artemisia/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Flavonoids/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Animals , Artemisia/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Density Functional Theory , Flavonoids/isolation & purification , Flavonoids/metabolism , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Humans , Lethal Dose 50 , Male , Molecular Conformation , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Rats , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Skin/drug effects , Skin/pathology
18.
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
19.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2880-2904, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705973

ABSTRACT

Starting from the MLPCN probe compound ML300, a structure-based optimization campaign was initiated against the recent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) main protease (3CLpro). X-ray structures of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro enzymes in complex with multiple ML300-based inhibitors, including the original probe ML300, were obtained and proved instrumental in guiding chemistry toward probe compound 41 (CCF0058981). The disclosed inhibitors utilize a noncovalent mode of action and complex in a noncanonical binding mode not observed by peptidic 3CLpro inhibitors. In vitro DMPK profiling highlights key areas where further optimization in the series is required to obtain useful in vivo probes. Antiviral activity was established using a SARS-CoV-2-infected Vero E6 cell viability assay and a plaque formation assay. Compound 41 demonstrates nanomolar activity in these respective assays, comparable in potency to remdesivir. These findings have implications for antiviral development to combat current and future SARS-like zoonotic coronavirus outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/isolation & purification , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Glutamine/chemistry , Glutamine/pharmacology , Humans , Ketones/chemistry , Ketones/pharmacology , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Models, Molecular , Molecular Structure , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
20.
J Biol Chem ; 298(4): 101739, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1693313

ABSTRACT

The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as a global threat to human health has highlighted the need for the development of novel therapies targeting current and emerging coronaviruses with pandemic potential. The coronavirus main protease (Mpro, also called 3CLpro) is a validated drug target against coronaviruses and has been heavily studied since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 in late 2019. Here, we report the biophysical and enzymatic characterization of native Mpro, then characterize the steady-state kinetics of several commonly used FRET substrates, fluorogenic substrates, and six of the 11 reported SARS-CoV-2 polyprotein cleavage sequences. We then assessed the suitability of these substrates for high-throughput screening. Guided by our assessment of these substrates, we developed an improved 5-carboxyfluorescein-based FRET substrate, which is better suited for high-throughput screening and is less susceptible to interference and false positives than existing substrates. This study provides a useful framework for the design of coronavirus Mpro enzyme assays to facilitate the discovery and development of therapies targeting Mpro.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Enzyme Assays , Fluoresceins , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/isolation & purification , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Enzyme Assays/methods , Fluoresceins/chemistry , Fluoresceins/metabolism , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
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