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1.
Mar Drugs ; 20(3)2022 Feb 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1725847

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic and its continuing emerging variants emphasize the need to discover appropriate treatment, where vaccines alone have failed to show complete protection against the new variants of the virus. Therefore, treatment of the infected cases is critical. This paper discusses the bio-guided isolation of three indole diketopiperazine alkaloids, neoechinulin A (1), echinulin (2), and eurocristatine (3), from the Red Sea-derived Aspergillus fumigatus MR2012. Neoechinulin A (1) exhibited a potent inhibitory effect against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro with IC50 value of 0.47 µM, which is comparable to the reference standard GC376. Despite the structural similarity between the three compounds, only 1 showed a promising effect. The mechanism of inhibition is discussed in light of a series of extensive molecular docking, classical and steered molecular dynamics simulation experiments. This paper sheds light on indole diketopiperazine alkaloids as a potential structural motif against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. Additionally, it highlights the potential of different molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation approaches in the discrimination between active and inactive structurally related Mpro inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Indole Alkaloids/chemistry , Piperazines/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Alkaloids/chemistry , Alkaloids/isolation & purification , Antiviral Agents/isolation & purification , Aspergillus fumigatus/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/isolation & purification , Indole Alkaloids/isolation & purification , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Piperazines/isolation & purification
2.
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
3.
Bioengineered ; 13(2): 3350-3361, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1632167

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 new variants spread rapidly all over the world, and until now scientists strive to find virus-specific antivirals for its treatment. The main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Mpro) exhibits high structural and sequence homology to main protease of SARS-CoV (93.23% sequence identity), and their sequence alignment indicated 12 mutated/variant residues. The sequence alignment of SARS-CoV-2 main protease led to identification of only one mutated/variant residue with no significant role in its enzymatic process. Therefore, Mpro was considered as a high-profile drug target in anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug discovery. Apigenin analogues to COVID-19 main protease binding were evaluated. The detailed interactions between the analogues of Apigenin and SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors were determined as hydrogen bonds, electronic bonds and hydrophobic interactions. The binding energies obtained from the molecular docking of Mpro with Boceprevir, Apigenin, Apigenin 7-glucoside-4'-p-coumarate, Apigenin 7-glucoside-4'-trans-caffeate and Apigenin 7-O-beta-d-glucoside (Cosmosiin) were found to be -6.6, -7.2, -8.8, -8.7 and -8.0 kcal/mol, respectively. Pharmacokinetic parameters and toxicological characteristics obtained by computational techniques and Virtual ADME studies of the Apigenin analogues confirmed that the Apigenin 7-glucoside-4'-p-coumarate is the best candidate for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibition.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Apigenin/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Amino Acid Sequence , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Apigenin/chemistry , Apigenin/pharmacokinetics , Bioengineering , COVID-19/virology , Computer Simulation , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacokinetics , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Glucosides/chemistry , Glucosides/pharmacokinetics , Glucosides/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Phytotherapy , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
4.
ChemMedChem ; 17(1): e202100576, 2022 01 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1626179

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic is an unprecedented global health emergency causing more than 4.2 million fatalities as of 30 July 2021. Only three antiviral therapies have been approved or granted emergency use authorization by the FDA. The SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease (3CLpro ) is deemed an attractive drug target as it plays an essential role in viral polyprotein processing and pathogenesis, although no inhibitors have been approved. This patent review discusses SARS coronavirus 3CLpro inhibitors that have been filed up to 30 July 2021, giving an overview on the types of inhibitors that have generated commercial interest, especially amongst drug companies. Insights into the common structural motifs required for active site binding is also discussed.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Patents as Topic , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Drug Discovery , Humans , Protein Conformation , Structure-Activity Relationship
5.
J Med Chem ; 64(8): 4991-5000, 2021 04 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1574766

ABSTRACT

The main protease (3CL Mpro) from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, is an essential enzyme for viral replication with no human counterpart, making it an attractive drug target. To date, no small-molecule clinical drugs are available that specifically inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. To aid rational drug design, we determined a neutron structure of Mpro in complex with the α-ketoamide inhibitor telaprevir at near-physiological (22 °C) temperature. We directly observed protonation states in the inhibitor complex and compared them with those in the ligand-free Mpro, revealing modulation of the active-site protonation states upon telaprevir binding. We suggest that binding of other α-ketoamide covalent inhibitors can lead to the same protonation state changes in the Mpro active site. Thus, by studying the protonation state changes induced by inhibitors, we provide crucial insights to help guide rational drug design, allowing precise tailoring of inhibitors to manipulate the electrostatic environment of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Oligopeptides/chemistry , Binding Sites , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography/methods , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Neutrons , Oligopeptides/metabolism , Protein Conformation , Protons
6.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2956-2970, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500413

ABSTRACT

Cathepsin L is a key host cysteine protease utilized by coronaviruses for cell entry and is a promising drug target for novel antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. The marine natural product gallinamide A and several synthetic analogues were identified as potent inhibitors of cathepsin L with IC50 values in the picomolar range. Lead molecules possessed selectivity over other cathepsins and alternative host proteases involved in viral entry. Gallinamide A directly interacted with cathepsin L in cells and, together with two lead analogues, potently inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro, with EC50 values in the nanomolar range. Reduced antiviral activity was observed in cells overexpressing transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2); however, a synergistic improvement in antiviral activity was achieved when combined with a TMPRSS2 inhibitor. These data highlight the potential of cathepsin L as a COVID-19 drug target as well as the likely need to inhibit multiple routes of viral entry to achieve efficacy.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Biological Products/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cathepsin L/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemical synthesis , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Biological Products/chemical synthesis , Biological Products/chemistry , COVID-19/metabolism , Cathepsin L/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Conformation , Proteomics , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells
7.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 60(48): 25428-25435, 2021 11 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1490696

ABSTRACT

The main protease (3CLp) of the SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent for the COVID-19 pandemic, is one of the main targets for drug development. To be active, 3CLp relies on a complex interplay between dimerization, active site flexibility, and allosteric regulation. The deciphering of these mechanisms is a crucial step to enable the search for inhibitors. In this context, using NMR spectroscopy, we studied the conformation of dimeric 3CLp from the SARS-CoV-2 and monitored ligand binding, based on NMR signal assignments. We performed a fragment-based screening that led to the identification of 38 fragment hits. Their binding sites showed three hotspots on 3CLp, two in the substrate binding pocket and one at the dimer interface. F01 is a non-covalent inhibitor of the 3CLp and has antiviral activity in SARS-CoV-2 infected cells. This study sheds light on the complex structure-function relationships of 3CLp and constitutes a strong basis to assist in developing potent 3CLp inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Biomolecular , Protein Conformation , Protein Multimerization , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Vero Cells
8.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2940-2955, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1475245

ABSTRACT

Antiviral agents that complement vaccination are urgently needed to end the COVID-19 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLpro), one of only two essential cysteine proteases that regulate viral replication, also dysregulates host immune sensing by binding and deubiquitination of host protein substrates. PLpro is a promising therapeutic target, albeit challenging owing to featureless P1 and P2 sites recognizing glycine. To overcome this challenge, we leveraged the cooperativity of multiple shallow binding sites on the PLpro surface, yielding novel 2-phenylthiophenes with nanomolar inhibitory potency. New cocrystal structures confirmed that ligand binding induces new interactions with PLpro: by closing of the BL2 loop of PLpro forming a novel "BL2 groove" and by mimicking the binding interaction of ubiquitin with Glu167 of PLpro. Together, this binding cooperativity translates to the most potent PLpro inhibitors reported to date, with slow off-rates, improved binding affinities, and low micromolar antiviral potency in SARS-CoV-2-infected human cells.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites/drug effects , COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Microsomes, Liver/chemistry , Microsomes, Liver/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Pandemics , Surface Plasmon Resonance , Tumor Cells, Cultured
9.
Appl Biochem Biotechnol ; 193(10): 3371-3394, 2021 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442180

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 is a disease that puts most of the world on lockdown and the search for therapeutic drugs is still ongoing. Therefore, this study used in silico screening to identify natural bioactive compounds from fruits, herbaceous plants, and marine invertebrates that are able to inhibit protease activity in SARS-CoV-2 (PDB: 6LU7). We have used extensive screening strategies such as drug likeliness, antiviral activity value prediction, molecular docking, ADME, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, and MM/GBSA. A total of 17 compounds were shortlisted using Lipinski's rule in which 5 compounds showed significant predicted antiviral activity values. Among these 5, only 2 compounds, Macrolactin A and Stachyflin, showed good binding energy of -9.22 and -8.00 kcal/mol, respectively, within the binding pocket of the Mpro catalytic residues (HIS 41 and CYS 145). These two compounds were further analyzed to determine their ADME properties. The ADME evaluation of these 2 compounds suggested that they could be effective in developing therapeutic drugs to be used in clinical trials. MD simulations showed that protein-ligand complexes of Macrolactin A and Stachyflin with the target receptor (6LU7) were stable for 100 nanoseconds. The MM/GBSA calculations of Mpro-Macrolactin A complex indicated higher binding free energy (-42.58 ± 6.35 kcal/mol). Dynamic cross-correlation matrix (DCCM) and principal component analysis (PCA) on the residual movement in the MD trajectories further confirmed the stability of Macrolactin A bound state with 6LU7. In conclusion, this study showed that marine natural compound Macrolactin A could be an effective therapeutic inhibitor against SARS-CoV-2 protease (6LU7). Additional in vitro and in vivo validations are strongly needed to determine the efficacy and therapeutic dose of Macrolactin A in biological systems.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Macrolides/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Humans
10.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2866-2879, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1440451

ABSTRACT

The emergence of a new coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), presents an urgent public health crisis. Without available targeted therapies, treatment options remain limited for COVID-19 patients. Using medicinal chemistry and rational drug design strategies, we identify a 2-phenyl-1,2-benzoselenazol-3-one class of compounds targeting the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro). FRET-based screening against recombinant SARS-CoV-2 Mpro identified six compounds that inhibit proteolysis with nanomolar IC50 values. Preincubation dilution experiments and molecular docking determined that the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro can occur by either covalent or noncovalent mechanisms, and lead E04 was determined to inhibit Mpro competitively. Lead E24 inhibited viral replication with a nanomolar EC50 value (844 nM) in SARS-CoV-2-infected Vero E6 cells and was further confirmed to impair SARS-CoV-2 replication in human lung epithelial cells and human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived 3D lung organoids. Altogether, these studies provide a structural framework and mechanism of Mpro inhibition that should facilitate the design of future COVID-19 treatments.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Benzothiazoles/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Drug Discovery , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Benzothiazoles/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 , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Structure , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
11.
Biomolecules ; 11(9)2021 Sep 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1408460

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 virus mutations might increase its virulence, and thus the severity and duration of the ongoing pandemic. Global drug discovery campaigns have successfully developed several vaccines to reduce the number of infections by the virus. However, finding a small molecule pharmaceutical that is effective in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 remains a challenge. Natural products are the origin of many currently used pharmaceuticals and, for this reason, a library of in-house fungal extracts were screened to assess their potential to inhibit the main viral protease Mpro in vitro. The extract of Penicillium citrinum, TDPEF34, showed potential inhibition and was further analysed to identify potential Mpro inhibitors. Following bio-guided isolation, a series of benzodiazepine alkaloids cyclopenins with good-to-moderate activity against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro were identified. The mode of enzyme inhibition of these compounds was predicted by docking and molecular dynamic simulation. Compounds 1 (isolated as two conformers of S- and R-isomers), 2, and 4 were found to have promising in vitro inhibitory activity towards Mpro, with an IC50 values range of 0.36-0.89 µM comparable to the positive control GC376. The in silico investigation revealed compounds to achieve stable binding with the enzyme active site through multiple H-bonding and hydrophobic interactions. Additionally, the isolated compounds showed very good drug-likeness and ADMET properties. Our findings could be utilized in further in vitro and in vivo investigations to produce anti-SARS-CoV-2 drug candidates. These findings also provide critical structural information that could be used in the future for designing potent Mpro inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Penicillium/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Benzodiazepinones/chemistry , Benzodiazepinones/isolation & purification , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/isolation & purification
12.
Biochemistry ; 60(39): 2925-2931, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1402014

ABSTRACT

Rupintrivir targets the 3C cysteine proteases of the picornaviridae family, which includes rhinoviruses and enteroviruses that cause a range of human diseases. Despite being a pan-3C protease inhibitor, rupintrivir activity is extremely weak against the homologous 3C-like protease of SARS-CoV-2. In this study, the crystal structures of rupintrivir were determined bound to enterovirus 68 (EV68) 3C protease and the 3C-like main protease (Mpro) from SARS-CoV-2. While the EV68 3C protease-rupintrivir structure was similar to previously determined complexes with other picornavirus 3C proteases, rupintrivir bound in a unique conformation to the active site of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro splitting the catalytic cysteine and histidine residues. This bifurcation of the catalytic dyad may provide a novel approach for inhibiting cysteine proteases.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Isoxazoles/metabolism , Phenylalanine/analogs & derivatives , Pyrrolidinones/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Valine/analogs & derivatives , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Enterovirus D, Human/enzymology , Hydrogen Bonding , Isoxazoles/chemistry , Phenylalanine/chemistry , Phenylalanine/metabolism , Protein Binding , Pyrrolidinones/chemistry , Static Electricity , Valine/chemistry , Valine/metabolism
14.
ChemMedChem ; 17(1): e202100455, 2022 01 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366225

ABSTRACT

As the pathogen of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 encodes two essential cysteine proteases that process the pathogen's two large polypeptide products pp1a and pp1ab in the human cell host to form 15 functionally important, mature nonstructural proteins. One of the two enzymes is papain-like protease or PLPro . It possesses deubiquitination and deISGylation activities that suppress host innate immune responses toward SARS-CoV-2 infection. To repurpose drugs for PLPro , we experimentally screened libraries of 33 deubiquitinase and 37 cysteine protease inhibitors on their inhibition of PLPro . Our results showed that 15 deubiquitinase and 1 cysteine protease inhibitors exhibit strong inhibition of PLPro at 200 µM. More comprehensive characterizations revealed seven inhibitors GRL0617, SJB2-043, TCID, DUB-IN-1, DUB-IN-3, PR-619, and S130 with an IC50 value below 40 µM and four inhibitors GRL0617, SJB2-043, TCID, and PR-619 with an IC50 value below 10 µM. Among four inhibitors with an IC50 value below 10 µM, SJB2-043 is the most unique in that it does not fully inhibit PLPro but has a noteworthy IC50 value of 0.56 µM. SJB2-043 likely binds to an allosteric site of PLPro to convene its inhibition effect, which needs to be further investigated. As a pilot study, the current work indicates that COVID-19 drug repurposing by targeting PLPro holds promise, but in-depth analysis of repurposed drugs is necessary to avoid omitting critical allosteric inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Drug Repositioning , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Structure-Activity Relationship
15.
Molecules ; 26(16)2021 Aug 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1362396

ABSTRACT

The specificity of inhibition by 6,6'-dihydroxythiobinupharidine (DTBN) on cysteine proteases was demonstrated in this work. There were differences in the extent of inhibition, reflecting active site structural-steric and biochemical differences. Cathepsin S (IC50 = 3.2 µM) was most sensitive to inhibition by DTBN compared to Cathepsin B, L and papain (IC50 = 1359.4, 13.2 and 70.4 µM respectively). DTBN is inactive for the inhibition of Mpro of SARS-CoV-2. Docking simulations suggested a mechanism of interaction that was further supported by the biochemical results. In the docking results, it was shown that the cysteine sulphur of Cathepsin S, L and B was in close proximity to the DTBN thiaspirane ring, potentially forming the necessary conditions for a nucleophilic attack to form a disulfide bond. Covalent docking and molecular dynamic simulations were performed to validate disulfide bond formation and to determine the stability of Cathepsins-DTBN complexes, respectively. The lack of reactivity of DTBN against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro was attributed to a mismatch of the binding conformation of DTBN to the catalytic binding site of Mpro. Thus, gradations in reactivity among the tested Cathepsins may be conducive for a mechanism-based search for derivatives of nupharidine against COVID-19. This could be an alternative strategy to the large-scale screening of electrophilic inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Alkaloids/pharmacology , Cysteine Proteases/metabolism , Alkaloids/chemistry , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Catalytic Domain , Cathepsins/pharmacology , Cell Line, Tumor , Cysteine Proteases/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Humans , Mice , Molecular Docking Simulation/methods , Nuphar/chemistry , Papain/pharmacology , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
16.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2880-2904, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340972

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
17.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2926-2939, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327181

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has been identified as the causative agent for the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 3CL protease (3CLpro) plays a pivotal role in the processing of viral polyproteins. We report peptidomimetic compounds with a unique benzothiazolyl ketone as a warhead group, which display potent activity against SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro. The most potent inhibitor YH-53 can strongly block the SARS-CoV-2 replication. X-ray structural analysis revealed that YH-53 establishes multiple hydrogen bond interactions with backbone amino acids and a covalent bond with the active site of 3CLpro. Further results from computational and experimental studies, including an in vitro absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion profile, in vivo pharmacokinetics, and metabolic analysis of YH-53 suggest that it has a high potential as a lead candidate to compete with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Ketones/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 , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Humans , Ketones/chemistry , Male , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Microsomes, Liver/chemistry , Microsomes, Liver/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Molecular Conformation , Peptidomimetics/chemical synthesis , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , Rats , Rats, Wistar , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Vero Cells
18.
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
19.
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
20.
Bioorg Med Chem Lett ; 48: 128263, 2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1309173

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 has created an unprecedented global health emergency. As of July 2021, only three antiviral therapies have been approved by the FDA for treating infected patients, highlighting the urgent need for more antiviral drugs. The SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease (3CLpro) is deemed an attractive drug target due to its essential role in viral polyprotein processing and pathogenesis. Indeed, a number of peptidomimetic 3CLpro inhibitors armed with electrophilic warheads have been reported by various research groups that can potentially be developed for treating COVID-19. However, it is currently impossible to compare their relative potencies due to the different assays employed. To solve this, we conducted a head-to-head comparison of fifteen reported peptidomimetic inhibitors in a standard FRET-based SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibition assay to compare and identify potent inhibitors for development. Inhibitor design and the suitability of various warheads are also discussed.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Enzyme Assays , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Peptidomimetics/metabolism , Protein Binding
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