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1.
Bioorg Med Chem ; 49: 116415, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415233

ABSTRACT

Dengue remains a disease of significant concern, responsible for nearly half of all arthropod-borne disease cases across the globe. Due to the lack of potent and targeted therapeutics, palliative treatment and the adoption of preventive measures remain the only available options. Compounding the problem further, the failure of the only dengue vaccine, Dengvaxia®, also delivered a significant blow to any hopes for the treatment of dengue fever. However, the success of Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) protease inhibitors in the past have continued to encourage researchers to investigate other viral protease targets. Dengue virus (DENV) NS2B-NS3 protease is an attractive target partly due to its role in polyprotein processing and also for being the most conserved domain in the viral genome. During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a few cases of Dengue-COVID 19 co-infection were reported. In this review, we compared the substrate-peptide residue preferences and the residues lining the sub-pockets of the proteases of these two viruses and analyzed the significance of this similarity. Also, we attempted to abridge the developments in anti-dengue drug discovery in the last six years (2015-2020), focusing on critical discoveries that influenced the research.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Dengue Virus/drug effects , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Dengue Virus/enzymology , Humans , Protease Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
2.
Molecules ; 25(19)2020 Oct 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389458

ABSTRACT

A novel series of some hydrazones bearing thiazole moiety were generated via solvent-drop grinding of thiazole carbohydrazide 2 with various carbonyl compounds. Also, dehydrative-cyclocondensation of 2 with active methylene compounds or anhydrides gave the respective pyarzole or pyrazine derivatives. The structures of the newly synthesized compounds were established based on spectroscopic evidences and their alternative syntheses. Additionally, the anti-viral activity of all the products was tested against SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) using molecular docking combined with molecular dynamics simulation (MDS). The average binding affinities of the compounds 3a, 3b, and 3c (-8.1 ± 0.33 kcal/mol, -8.0 ± 0.35 kcal/mol, and -8.2 ± 0.21 kcal/mol, respectively) are better than that of the positive control Nelfinavir (-6.9 ± 0.51 kcal/mol). This shows the possibility of these three compounds to effectively bind to SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and hence, contradict the virus lifecycle.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Hydrazones/chemical synthesis , Protease Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Pyrazines/chemical synthesis , Pyrazoles/chemical synthesis , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Drug Discovery , Humans , Hydrazones/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Pyrazines/pharmacology , Pyrazoles/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , Thermodynamics , User-Computer Interface , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
3.
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
4.
J Med Chem ; 64(15): 11267-11287, 2021 08 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1319012

ABSTRACT

Cysteine proteases comprise an important class of drug targets, especially for infectious diseases such as Chagas disease (cruzain) and COVID-19 (3CL protease, cathepsin L). Peptide aldehydes have proven to be potent inhibitors for all of these proteases. However, the intrinsic, high electrophilicity of the aldehyde group is associated with safety concerns and metabolic instability, limiting the use of aldehyde inhibitors as drugs. We have developed a novel class of self-masked aldehyde inhibitors (SMAIs) for cruzain, the major cysteine protease of the causative agent of Chagas disease-Trypanosoma cruzi. These SMAIs exerted potent, reversible inhibition of cruzain (Ki* = 18-350 nM) while apparently protecting the free aldehyde in cell-based assays. We synthesized prodrugs of the SMAIs that could potentially improve their pharmacokinetic properties. We also elucidated the kinetic and chemical mechanism of SMAIs and applied this strategy to the design of anti-SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Aldehydes/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chagas Disease/drug therapy , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Trypanosoma cruzi/enzymology , Aldehydes/metabolism , Aldehydes/pharmacology , Cathepsin L/antagonists & inhibitors , Cathepsin L/metabolism , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Drug Design , Humans , Kinetics , Models, Molecular , Molecular Structure , Protozoan Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Protozoan Proteins/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Structure-Activity Relationship , Trypanosoma cruzi/drug effects
5.
Expert Opin Ther Targets ; 25(6): 479-489, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1306504

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Enteroviruses are common viruses causing a huge number of acute and chronic infections and producing towering economic costs. Similarly, coronaviruses cause seasonal mild infections, epidemics, and even pandemics and can lead to severe respiratory symptoms. It is important to develop broadly acting antiviral molecules to efficiently tackle the infections caused by thes.Areas covered: This review illuminates the differences and similarities between enteroviruses and coronaviruses and examines the most appealing therapeutic targets to combat both virus groups. Publications of both virus groups and deposited structures discovered through PubMed to March 2021 for viral proteases have been evaluated.Expert opinion: The main protease of coronaviruses and enteroviruses share similarities in their structure and function. These proteases process their viral polyproteins and thus drugs that bind to the active site have potential to target both virus groups. It is important to develop drugs that target more evolutionarily conserved processes and proteins. Moreover, it is a wise strategy to concentrate on processes that are similar between several virus families.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus/physiology , Enterovirus/physiology , Animals , Coronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus/enzymology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Enterovirus/drug effects , Enterovirus/enzymology , Humans , Substrate Specificity
6.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290361

ABSTRACT

Since the first report of a new pneumonia disease in December 2019 (Wuhan, China) the WHO reported more than 148 million confirmed cases and 3.1 million losses globally up to now. The causative agent of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide, resulting in a pandemic of unprecedented magnitude. To date, several clinically safe and efficient vaccines (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines) as well as drugs for emergency use have been approved. However, increasing numbers of SARS-Cov-2 variants make it imminent to identify an alternative way to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. A well-known strategy to identify molecules with inhibitory potential against SARS-CoV-2 proteins is repurposing clinically developed drugs, e.g., antiparasitic drugs. The results described in this study demonstrated the inhibitory potential of quinacrine and suramin against SARS-CoV-2 main protease (3CLpro). Quinacrine and suramin molecules presented a competitive and noncompetitive inhibition mode, respectively, with IC50 values in the low micromolar range. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) experiments demonstrated that quinacrine and suramin alone possessed a moderate or weak affinity with SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro but suramin binding increased quinacrine interaction by around a factor of eight. Using docking and molecular dynamics simulations, we identified a possible binding mode and the amino acids involved in these interactions. Our results suggested that suramin, in combination with quinacrine, showed promising synergistic efficacy to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro. We suppose that the identification of effective, synergistic drug combinations could lead to the design of better treatments for the COVID-19 disease and repurposable drug candidates offer fast therapeutic breakthroughs, mainly in a pandemic moment.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/drug effects , Quinacrine/pharmacology , Suramin/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Quinacrine/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Suramin/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins
7.
Nanoscale ; 13(17): 8313-8332, 2021 May 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1233725

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by a new coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is spreading around the world. However, a universally effective treatment regimen has not been developed to date. The main protease (Mpro), a key enzyme of SARS-CoV-2, plays a crucial role in the replication and transcription of this virus in cells and has become the ideal target for rational antiviral drug design. In this study, we performed molecular dynamics simulations three times for these complexes of Mpro (monomeric and dimeric) and nine potential drugs that have a certain effect on the treatment of COVID-19 to explore their binding mechanism. In addition, a total of 12 methods for calculating binding free energy were employed to determine the optimal drug. Ritonavir, Arbidol, and Chloroquine consistently showed an outstanding binding ability to monomeric Mpro under various methods. Ritonavir, Arbidol, and Saquinavir presented the best performance when binding to a dimer, which was independent of the protonated state of Hie41 (protonated at Nε) and Hid41 (protonated at Nδ), and these findings suggest that Chloroquine may not effectively inhibit the activity of dimeric Mproin vivo. Furthermore, three common hot-spot residues of Met165, Hie41, and Gln189 of monomeric Mpro systems dominated the binding of Ritonavir, Arbidol, and Chloroquine. In dimeric Mpro, Gln189, Met165, and Met49 contributed significantly to binding with Ritonavir, Arbidol, and Saquinavir; therefore, Gln189 and Met165 might serve as the focus in the discovery and development of anti-COVID-19 drugs. In addition, the van der Waals interaction played a significant role in the binding process, and the benzene ring of the drugs showed an apparent inhibitory effect on the normal function of Mpro. The binding cavity had great flexibility to accommodate these different drugs. The results would be notably helpful for enabling a detailed understanding of the binding mechanisms for these important drug-Mpro interactions and provide valuable guidance for the design of potent inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins
8.
Nanoscale ; 13(17): 8313-8332, 2021 May 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1203458

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), which is caused by a new coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is spreading around the world. However, a universally effective treatment regimen has not been developed to date. The main protease (Mpro), a key enzyme of SARS-CoV-2, plays a crucial role in the replication and transcription of this virus in cells and has become the ideal target for rational antiviral drug design. In this study, we performed molecular dynamics simulations three times for these complexes of Mpro (monomeric and dimeric) and nine potential drugs that have a certain effect on the treatment of COVID-19 to explore their binding mechanism. In addition, a total of 12 methods for calculating binding free energy were employed to determine the optimal drug. Ritonavir, Arbidol, and Chloroquine consistently showed an outstanding binding ability to monomeric Mpro under various methods. Ritonavir, Arbidol, and Saquinavir presented the best performance when binding to a dimer, which was independent of the protonated state of Hie41 (protonated at Nε) and Hid41 (protonated at Nδ), and these findings suggest that Chloroquine may not effectively inhibit the activity of dimeric Mproin vivo. Furthermore, three common hot-spot residues of Met165, Hie41, and Gln189 of monomeric Mpro systems dominated the binding of Ritonavir, Arbidol, and Chloroquine. In dimeric Mpro, Gln189, Met165, and Met49 contributed significantly to binding with Ritonavir, Arbidol, and Saquinavir; therefore, Gln189 and Met165 might serve as the focus in the discovery and development of anti-COVID-19 drugs. In addition, the van der Waals interaction played a significant role in the binding process, and the benzene ring of the drugs showed an apparent inhibitory effect on the normal function of Mpro. The binding cavity had great flexibility to accommodate these different drugs. The results would be notably helpful for enabling a detailed understanding of the binding mechanisms for these important drug-Mpro interactions and provide valuable guidance for the design of potent inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins
9.
Viruses ; 12(9)2020 08 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1121700

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses are viral infections that have a significant ability to impact human health. Coronaviruses have produced two pandemics and one epidemic in the last two decades. The current pandemic has created a worldwide catastrophe threatening the lives of over 15 million as of July 2020. Current research efforts have been focused on producing a vaccine or repurposing current drug compounds to develop a therapeutic. There is, however, a need to study the active site preferences of relevant targets, such as the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (SARS-CoV-2 Mpro), to determine ways to optimize these drug compounds. The ensemble docking and characterization work described in this article demonstrates the multifaceted features of the SARS-CoV-2 Mpro active site, molecular guidelines to improving binding affinity, and ultimately the optimization of drug candidates. A total of 220 compounds were docked into both the 5R7Z and 6LU7 SARS-CoV-2 Mpro crystal structures. Several key preferences for strong binding to the four subsites (S1, S1', S2, and S4) were identified, such as accessing hydrogen binding hotspots, hydrophobic patches, and utilization of primarily aliphatic instead of aromatic substituents. After optimization efforts using the design guidelines developed from the molecular docking studies, the average docking score of the parent compounds was improved by 6.59 -log10(Kd) in binding affinity which represents an increase of greater than six orders of magnitude. Using the optimization guidelines, the SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitor cinanserin was optimized resulting in an increase in binding affinity of 4.59 -log10(Kd) and increased protease inhibitor bioactivity. The results of molecular dynamic (MD) simulation of cinanserin-optimized compounds CM02, CM06, and CM07 revealed that CM02 and CM06 fit well into the active site of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro [Protein Data Bank (PDB) accession number 6LU7] and formed strong and stable interactions with the key residues, Ser-144, His-163, and Glu-166. The enhanced binding affinity produced demonstrates the utility of the design guidelines described. The work described herein will assist scientists in developing potent COVID-19 antivirals.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Drug Design , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation/methods , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry
10.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 533(3): 467-473, 2020 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064868

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has been a crisis of global health, whereas the effective vaccines against 2019-nCoV are still under development. Alternatively, utilization of old drugs or available medicine that can suppress the viral activity or replication may provide an urgent solution to suppress the rapid spread of 2019-nCoV. Andrographolide is a highly abundant natural product of the medicinal plant, Andrographis paniculata, which has been clinically used for inflammatory diseases and anti-viral therapy. We herein demonstrate that both andrographolide and its fluorescent derivative, the nitrobenzoxadiazole-conjugated andrographolide (Andro- NBD), suppressed the main protease (Mpro) activities of 2019-nCoV and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV). Moreover, Andro-NBD was shown to covalently link its fluorescence to these proteases. Further mass spectrometry (MS) analysis suggests that andrographolide formed a covalent bond with the active site Cys145 of either 2019-nCoV Mpro or SARS-CoV Mpro. Consistently, molecular modeling analysis supported the docking of andrographolide within the catalytic pockets of both viral Mpros. Considering that andrographolide is used in clinical practice with acceptable safety and its diverse pharmacological activities that could be beneficial for attenuating COVID-19 symptoms, extensive investigation of andrographolide on the suppression of 2019-nCoV as well as its application in COVID-19 therapy is suggested.


Subject(s)
Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Diterpenes/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Diterpenes/chemistry , Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry , Fluorescent Dyes/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Conformation , Protein Multimerization , SARS Virus/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry
11.
Virus Res ; 288: 198102, 2020 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1003124

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease, caused by a newly emerged highly pathogenic virus called novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Targeting the main protease (Mpro, 3CLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 is an appealing approach for drug development because this enzyme plays a significant role in the viral replication and transcription. The available crystal structures of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro determined in the presence of different ligands and inhibitor-like compounds provide a platform for the quick development of selective inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. In this study, we utilized the structural information of co-crystallized SARS-CoV-2 Mpro for the structure-guided drug discovery of high-affinity inhibitors from the PubChem database. The screened compounds were selected on the basis of their physicochemical properties, drug-likeliness, and strength of affinity to the SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. Finally, we have identified 6-Deaminosinefungin (PubChem ID: 10428963) and UNII-O9H5KY11SV (PubChem ID: 71481120) as potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro which may be further exploited in drug development to address SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis. Both compounds are structural analogs of known antivirals, having considerable protease inhibitory potential with improved pharmacological properties. All-atom molecular dynamics simulations suggested SARS-CoV-2 Mpro in complex with these compounds is stable during the simulation period with minimal structural changes. This work provides enough evidence for further implementation of the identified compounds in the development of effective therapeutics of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Aminoglycosides/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Pyrrolidines/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Aminoglycosides/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , COVID-19 , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/genetics , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Drug Discovery , Gene Expression , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Pyrrolidines/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Substrate Specificity , Sulfonic Acids , Thermodynamics , User-Computer Interface , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
12.
Structure ; 28(12): 1313-1320.e3, 2020 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-997553

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 requires rapid development of specific therapeutics and vaccines. The main protease of SARS-CoV-2, 3CL Mpro, is an established drug target for the design of inhibitors to stop the virus replication. Repurposing existing clinical drugs can offer a faster route to treatments. Here, we report on the binding mode and inhibition properties of several inhibitors using room temperature X-ray crystallography and in vitro enzyme kinetics. The enzyme active-site cavity reveals a high degree of malleability, allowing aldehyde leupeptin and hepatitis C clinical protease inhibitors (telaprevir, narlaprevir, and boceprevir) to bind and inhibit SARS-CoV-2 3CL Mpro. Narlaprevir, boceprevir, and telaprevir are low-micromolar inhibitors, whereas the binding affinity of leupeptin is substantially weaker. Repurposing hepatitis C clinical drugs as COVID-19 treatments may be a useful option to pursue. The observed malleability of the enzyme active-site cavity should be considered for the successful design of specific protease inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Betacoronavirus , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Humans , Pandemics , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , Temperature , Viral Nonstructural Proteins
13.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 3202, 2020 06 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-981316

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has become a pandemic health crisis. An attractive target for antiviral inhibitors is the main protease 3CL Mpro due to its essential role in processing the polyproteins translated from viral RNA. Here we report the room temperature X-ray structure of unliganded SARS-CoV-2 3CL Mpro, revealing the ligand-free structure of the active site and the conformation of the catalytic site cavity at near-physiological temperature. Comparison with previously reported low-temperature ligand-free and inhibitor-bound structures suggest that the room temperature structure may provide more relevant information at physiological temperatures for aiding in molecular docking studies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Ligands , Models, Molecular , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Domains , Protein Structure, Secondary , SARS-CoV-2 , Temperature , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
14.
J Proteome Res ; 19(11): 4706-4717, 2020 11 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-950742

ABSTRACT

Corona virus disease (COVID-19) is a dangerous disease rapidly spreading all over the world today. Currently there are no treatment options for it. Drug repurposing studies explored the potency of antimalarial drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, against SARS-CoV-2 virus. These drugs can inhibit the viral protease, called chymotrypsin-like cysteine protease, also known as Main protease (3CLpro); hence, we studied the binding efficiencies of 4-aminoquinoline and 8-aminoquinoline analogs of chloroquine. Six compounds furnished better binding energies than chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. The interactions with the active site residues especially with Cys145 and His41, which are involved in catalytic diad for proteolysis, make these compounds potent main protease inhibitors. A regression model correlating binding energy and the molecular descriptors for chloroquine analogs was generated with R2 = 0.9039 and Q2 = 0.8848. This model was used to screen new analogs of primaquine and molecules from the Asinex compound library. The docking and regression analysis showed these analogs to be more potent inhibitors of 3CLpro than hydroxychloroquine and primaquine. The molecular dynamic simulations of the hits were carried out to determine the binding stabilities. Finally, we propose four compounds that show drug likeness toward SARS-CoV-2 that can be further validated through in vitro and in vivo studies.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus , Chloroquine , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cysteine Endopeptidases , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protease Inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Catalytic Domain , Chloroquine/analogs & derivatives , Chloroquine/chemistry , Chloroquine/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/chemistry , Hydroxychloroquine/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
15.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 5877, 2020 11 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-933685

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the pathogen that causes the disease COVID-19, produces replicase polyproteins 1a and 1ab that contain, respectively, 11 or 16 nonstructural 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 subsequent viral assembly and maturation. We have determined X-ray crystallographic structures of this cysteine protease in its wild-type free active site state at 1.8 Å resolution, in its acyl-enzyme intermediate state with the native C-terminal autocleavage sequence at 1.95 Å resolution and in its product bound state at 2.0 Å resolution by employing an active site mutation (C145A). We characterize the stereochemical features of the acyl-enzyme intermediate including critical hydrogen bonding distances underlying catalysis in the Cys/His dyad and oxyanion hole. We also identify a highly ordered water molecule in a position compatible for a role as the deacylating nucleophile in the catalytic mechanism and characterize the binding groove conformational changes and dimerization interface that occur upon formation of the acyl-enzyme. Collectively, these crystallographic snapshots provide valuable mechanistic and structural insights for future antiviral therapeutic development including revised molecular docking strategies based on Mpro inhibition.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Binding Sites , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Endopeptidases/genetics , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Dimerization , Humans , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2 , Substrate Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
16.
J Mol Model ; 26(12): 341, 2020 Nov 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-926723

ABSTRACT

HER-2 type breast cancer is one of the most aggressive malignancies found in women. Tucatinib is recently developed and approved as a potential medicine to fight this disease. In this manuscript, we present the gross structural features of this compound and its reactivity and wave function properties using computational simulations. Density functional theory was used to optimise the ground state geometry of the molecule and molecular docking was used to predict biological activity. As the electrons interact with electromagnetic radiations, electronic excitations between different energy levels are analysed in detail using time-dependent density functional theory. Various intermolecular and intermolecular interactions are analysed and reaction sites for attacking electrophiles and nucleophiles identified. Information entropy calculations show that the compound is inherently stable. Docking with COVID-19 proteins show docking score of - 9.42, - 8.93, - 8.45 and - 8.32 kcal/mol respectively indicating high interaction between the drug and proteins. Hence, this is an ideal candidate to study repurposing of existing drugs to combat the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antineoplastic Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Electrons , Oxazoles/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Pyridines/chemistry , Quinazolines/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Antineoplastic Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Binding Sites , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Oxazoles/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Protein Structure, Secondary , Pyridines/metabolism , Quantum Theory , Quinazolines/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Thermodynamics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
17.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 19125, 2020 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-912908

ABSTRACT

The current outbreak of Covid-19 infection due to SARS-CoV-2, a virus from the coronavirus family, has become a major threat to human healthcare. The virus has already infected more than 44 M people and the number of deaths reported has reached more than 1.1 M which may be attributed to lack of medicine. The traditional drug discovery approach involves many years of rigorous research and development and demands for a huge investment which cannot be adopted for the ongoing pandemic infection. Rather we need a swift and cost-effective approach to inhibit and control the viral infection. With the help of computational screening approaches and by choosing appropriate chemical space, it is possible to identify lead drug-like compounds for Covid-19. In this study, we have used the Drugbank database to screen compounds against the most important viral targets namely 3C-like protease (3CLpro), papain-like protease (PLpro), RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and the spike (S) protein. These targets play a major role in the replication/transcription and host cell recognition, therefore, are vital for the viral reproduction and spread of infection. As the structure based computational screening approaches are more reliable, we used the crystal structures for 3C-like main protease and spike protein. For the remaining targets, we used the structures based on homology modeling. Further, we employed two scoring methods based on binding free energies implemented in AutoDock Vina and molecular mechanics-generalized Born surface area approach. Based on these results, we propose drug cocktails active against the three viral targets namely 3CLpro, PLpro and RdRp. Interestingly, one of the identified compounds in this study i.e. Baloxavir marboxil has been under clinical trial for the treatment of Covid-19 infection. In addition, we have identified a few compounds such as Phthalocyanine, Tadalafil, Lonafarnib, Nilotinib, Dihydroergotamine, R-428 which can bind to all three targets simultaneously and can serve as multi-targeting drugs. Our study also included calculation of binding energies for various compounds currently under drug trials. Among these compounds, it is found that Remdesivir binds to targets, 3CLpro and RdRp with high binding affinity. Moreover, Baricitinib and Umifenovir were found to have superior target-specific binding while Darunavir is found to be a potential multi-targeting drug. As far as we know this is the first study where the compounds from the Drugbank database are screened against four vital targets of SARS-CoV-2 and illustrates that the computational screening using a double scoring approach can yield potential drug-like compounds against Covid-19 infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Databases, Pharmaceutical , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Molecular Targeted Therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cost-Benefit Analysis , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/economics , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Protein Conformation , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
18.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 22(43): 25335-25343, 2020 Nov 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-899989

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an ongoing global pandemic with very limited specific treatments. To fight COVID-19, various traditional antiviral medicines have been prescribed in China to infected patients with mild to moderate symptoms and received unexpected success in controlling the disease. However, the molecular mechanisms of how these herbal medicines interact with the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 have remained elusive. It is well known that the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 plays an important role in maturation of many viral proteins such as the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Here, we explore the underlying molecular mechanisms of the computationally determined top candidate, namely, rutin which is a key component in many traditional antiviral medicines such as Lianhuaqinwen and Shuanghuanlian, for inhibiting the viral target-Mpro. Using in silico methods (docking and molecular dynamics simulations), we revealed the dynamics and energetics of rutin when interacting with the Mpro of SARS-CoV-2, suggesting that the highly hydrophilic rutin molecule can be bound inside the Mpro's pocket (active site) and possibly inhibit its biological functions. In addition, we optimized the structure of rutin and designed two more hydrophobic analogs, M1 and M2, which satisfy the rule of five for western medicines and demonstrated that they (M2 in particular) possess much stronger binding affinities to the SARS-COV-2s Mpro than rutin, due to the enhanced hydrophobic interaction as well as more hydrogen bonds. Therefore, our results provide invaluable insights into the mechanism of a ligand's binding inside the Mpro and shed light on future structure-based designs of high-potent inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Rutin/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Herbal Medicine , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protein Domains , Rutin/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Thermodynamics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry
19.
J Chem Theory Comput ; 16(11): 7160-7172, 2020 Nov 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889116

ABSTRACT

In the context of drug-receptor binding affinity calculations using molecular dynamics techniques, we implemented a combination of Hamiltonian replica exchange (HREM) and a novel nonequilibrium alchemical methodology, called virtual double-system single-box, with increased accuracy, precision, and efficiency with respect to the standard nonequilibrium approaches. The method has been applied for the determination of absolute binding free energies of 16 newly designed noncovalent ligands of the main protease (3CLpro) of SARS-CoV-2. The core structures of 3CLpro ligands were previously identified using a multimodal structure-based ligand design in combination with docking techniques. The calculated binding free energies for four additional ligands with known activity (either for SARS-CoV or SARS-CoV-2 main protease) are also reported. The nature of binding in the 3CLpro active site and the involved residues besides the CYS-HYS catalytic dyad have been thoroughly characterized by enhanced sampling simulations of the bound state. We have identified several noncongeneric compounds with predicted low micromolar activity for 3CLpro inhibition, which may constitute possible lead compounds for the development of antiviral agents in Covid-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Humans , Ligands , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , User-Computer Interface , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors
20.
J Chem Inf Model ; 60(10): 4582-4593, 2020 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-889112

ABSTRACT

Artificial intelligence and multiobjective optimization represent promising solutions to bridge chemical and biological landscapes by addressing the automated de novo design of compounds as a result of a humanlike creative process. In the present study, we conceived a novel pair-based multiobjective approach implemented in an adapted SMILES generative algorithm based on recurrent neural networks for the automated de novo design of new molecules whose overall features are optimized by finding the best trade-offs among relevant physicochemical properties (MW, logP, HBA, HBD) and additional similarity-based constraints biasing specific biological targets. In this respect, we carried out the de novo design of chemical libraries targeting neuraminidase, acetylcholinesterase, and the main protease of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. Several quality metrics were employed to assess drug-likeness, chemical feasibility, diversity content, and validity. Molecular docking was finally carried out to better evaluate the scoring and posing of the de novo generated molecules with respect to X-ray cognate ligands of the corresponding molecular counterparts. Our results indicate that artificial intelligence and multiobjective optimization allow us to capture the latent links joining chemical and biological aspects, thus providing easy-to-use options for customizable design strategies, which are especially effective for both lead generation and lead optimization. The algorithm is freely downloadable at https://github.com/alberdom88/moo-denovo and all of the data are available as Supporting Information.


Subject(s)
Drug Design , Enzyme Inhibitors/chemistry , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Neural Networks, Computer , Acetylcholinesterase/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Artificial Intelligence , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , COVID-19 , Cholinesterase Inhibitors/chemistry , Cholinesterase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Humans , Influenza A virus/enzymology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Neuraminidase/antagonists & inhibitors , Neuraminidase/metabolism , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
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