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1.
Cell Mol Life Sci ; 78(23): 7777-7794, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1491058

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 requires new treatments both to alleviate the symptoms and to prevent the spread of this disease. Previous studies demonstrated good antiviral and virucidal activity of phospholipase A2s (PLA2s) from snake venoms against viruses from different families but there was no data for coronaviruses. Here we show that PLA2s from snake venoms protect Vero E6 cells against SARS-CoV-2 cytopathic effects. PLA2s showed low cytotoxicity to Vero E6 cells with some activity at micromolar concentrations, but strong antiviral activity at nanomolar concentrations. Dimeric PLA2 from the viper Vipera nikolskii and its subunits manifested especially potent virucidal effects, which were related to their phospholipolytic activity, and inhibited cell-cell fusion mediated by the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. Moreover, PLA2s interfered with binding both of an antibody against ACE2 and of the receptor-binding domain of the glycoprotein S to 293T/ACE2 cells. This is the first demonstration of a detrimental effect of PLA2s on ß-coronaviruses. Thus, snake PLA2s are promising for the development of antiviral drugs that target the viral envelope, and could also prove to be useful tools to study the interaction of viruses with host cells.


Subject(s)
Phospholipases A2/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Viper Venoms/pharmacology , Virus Attachment/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibody Affinity/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Fusion , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/drug effects , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Models, Molecular , Protein Domains/drug effects , Surface Plasmon Resonance , Vero Cells , Viper Venoms/enzymology
2.
Cells ; 10(11)2021 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488496

ABSTRACT

Human coronavirus (HCoV) similar to other viruses rely on host cell machinery for both replication and to spread. The p97/VCP ATPase is associated with diverse pathways that may favor HCoV replication. In this study, we assessed the role of p97 and associated host responses in human lung cell line H1299 after HCoV-229E or HCoV-OC43 infection. Inhibition of p97 function by small molecule inhibitors shows antiviral activity, particularly at early stages of the virus life cycle, during virus uncoating and viral RNA replication. Importantly, p97 activity inhibition protects human cells against HCoV-induced cytopathic effects. The p97 knockdown also inhibits viral production in infected cells. Unbiased quantitative proteomics analyses reveal that HCoV-OC43 infection resulted in proteome changes enriched in cellular senescence and DNA repair during virus replication. Further analysis of protein changes between infected cells with control and p97 shRNA identifies cell cycle pathways for both HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43 infection. Together, our data indicate a role for the essential host protein p97 in supporting HCoV replication, suggesting that p97 is a therapeutic target to treat HCoV infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 229E, Human/physiology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/physiology , Valosin Containing Protein/metabolism , Virus Replication/physiology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cell Cycle/drug effects , Cell Line , Coronavirus 229E, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus OC43, Human/drug effects , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/drug effects , Humans , Proteome/drug effects , Proteome/metabolism , RNA, Small Interfering/genetics , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , Valosin Containing Protein/antagonists & inhibitors , Valosin Containing Protein/genetics , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Uncoating/drug effects
3.
Molecules ; 25(8)2020 Apr 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1450861

ABSTRACT

(1) Background: Viral respiratory infections cause life-threatening diseases in millions of people worldwide every year. Human coronavirus and several picornaviruses are responsible for worldwide epidemic outbreaks, thus representing a heavy burden to their hosts. In the absence of specific treatments for human viral infections, natural products offer an alternative in terms of innovative drug therapies. (2) Methods: We analyzed the antiviral properties of the leaves and stem bark of the mulberry tree (Morus spp.). We compared the antiviral activity of Morus spp. on enveloped and nonenveloped viral pathogens, such as human coronavirus (HCoV 229E) and different members of the Picornaviridae family-human poliovirus 1, human parechovirus 1 and 3, and human echovirus 11. The antiviral activity of 12 water and water-alcohol plant extracts of the leaves and stem bark of three different species of mulberry-Morus alba var. alba, Morus alba var. rosa, and Morus rubra-were evaluated. We also evaluated the antiviral activities of kuwanon G against HCoV-229E. (3) Results: Our results showed that several extracts reduced the viral titer and cytopathogenic effects (CPE). Leaves' water-alcohol extracts exhibited maximum antiviral activity on human coronavirus, while stem bark and leaves' water and water-alcohol extracts were the most effective on picornaviruses. (4) Conclusions: The analysis of the antiviral activities of Morus spp. offer promising applications in antiviral strategies.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus/drug effects , Morus/chemistry , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Cell Line , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/drug effects , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Humans , Mass Spectrometry , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Picornaviridae/drug effects , Plant Bark/chemistry , Plant Extracts/therapeutic use , Plant Leaves/chemistry
4.
Viruses ; 13(8)2021 08 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367925

ABSTRACT

An escalating pandemic of the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus is impacting global health, and effective antivirals are needed. Umifenovir (Arbidol) is an indole-derivative molecule, licensed in Russia and China for prophylaxis and treatment of influenza and other respiratory viral infections. It has been shown that umifenovir has broad spectrum activity against different viruses. We evaluated the sensitivity of different coronaviruses, including the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus, to umifenovir using in vitro assays. Using a plaque assay, we revealed an antiviral effect of umifenovir against seasonal HCoV-229E and HCoV-OC43 coronaviruses in Vero E6 cells, with estimated 50% effective concentrations (EC50) of 10.0 ± 0.5 µM and 9.0 ± 0.4 µM, respectively. Umifenovir at 90 µM significantly suppressed plaque formation in CMK-AH-1 cells infected with SARS-CoV. Umifenovir also inhibited the replication of SARS-CoV-2 virus, with EC50 values ranging from 15.37 ± 3.6 to 28.0 ± 1.0 µM. In addition, 21-36 µM of umifenovir significantly suppressed SARS-CoV-2 virus titers (≥2 log TCID50/mL) in the first 24 h after infection. Repurposing of antiviral drugs is very helpful in fighting COVID-19. A safe, pan-antiviral drug such as umifenovir could be extremely beneficial in combating the early stages of a viral pandemic.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 229E, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus OC43, Human/drug effects , Indoles/pharmacology , SARS Virus/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/administration & dosage , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 229E, Human/physiology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/physiology , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/drug effects , Humans , Indoles/administration & dosage , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , SARS Virus/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects , Viral Plaque Assay , Virus Replication/drug effects
5.
IUBMB Life ; 74(1): 93-100, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1353459

ABSTRACT

Unfolded protein response (UPR) and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress are aspects of SARS-CoV-2-host cell interaction with proposed role in the cytopathic and inflammatory pathogenesis of this viral infection. The role of the NF-kB pathway in these cellular processes remains poorly characterized. When investigated in VERO-E6 cells, SARS-CoV-2 infection was found to markedly stimulate NF-kB protein expression and activity. NF-kB activation occurs early in the infection process (6 hpi) and it is associated with increased MAPK signaling and expression of the UPR inducer IRE-1α. These signal transduction processes characterize the cellular stress response to the virus promoting a pro-inflammatory environment and caspase activation in the host cell. Inhibition of viral replication by the viral protease inhibitor Nelfinavir reverts all these molecular changes also stimulating c-Jun expression, a key component of the JNK/AP-1 pathway with important role in the IRE-1α-mediated transcriptional regulation of stress response genes with anti-inflammatory and cytoprotection function. The present study demonstrates that UPR signaling and its interaction with cellular MAPKs and the NF-kB activity are important aspects of SARS-CoV-2-host cell interaction that deserve further investigation to identify more efficient therapies for this viral infection.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress/drug effects , NF-kappa B/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Caspase 9/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/drug effects , Humans , MAP Kinase Signaling System/drug effects , Models, Biological , Nelfinavir/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Unfolded Protein Response/drug effects , Vero Cells
6.
Virol J ; 18(1): 123, 2021 06 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262510

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The international SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has resulted in an urgent need to identify new anti-viral drugs for treatment of COVID-19. The initial step to identifying potential candidates usually involves in vitro screening that includes standard cytotoxicity controls. Under-appreciated is that viable, but stressed or otherwise compromised cells, can also have a reduced capacity to replicate virus. A refinement proposed herein for in vitro drug screening thus includes a simple growth assay to identify drug concentrations that cause cellular stress or "cytomorbidity", as distinct from cytotoxicity or loss of viability. METHODS: A simple rapid bioassay is presented for antiviral drug screening using Vero E6 cells and inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 induced cytopathic effects (CPE) measured using crystal violet staining. We use high cell density for cytotoxicity assays, and low cell density for cytomorbidity assays. RESULTS: The assay clearly illustrated the anti-viral activity of remdesivir, a drug known to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication. In contrast, nitazoxanide, oleuropein, cyclosporine A and ribavirin all showed no ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 CPE. Hydroxychloroquine, cyclohexamide, didemnin B, γ-mangostin and linoleic acid were all able to inhibit viral CPE at concentrations that did not induce cytotoxicity. However, these drugs inhibited CPE at concentrations that induced cytomorbidity, indicating non-specific anti-viral activity. CONCLUSIONS: We describe the methodology for a simple in vitro drug screening assay that identifies potential anti-viral drugs via their ability to inhibit SARS-CoV-2-induced CPE. The additional growth assay illustrated how several drugs display anti-viral activity at concentrations that induce cytomorbidity. For instance, hydroxychloroquine showed anti-viral activity at concentrations that slow cell growth, arguing that its purported in vitro anti-viral activity arises from non-specific impairment of cellular activities. The cytomorbidity assay can therefore rapidly exclude potential false positives.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Biological Assay , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/drug effects , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
7.
Viruses ; 13(4)2021 03 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1154534

ABSTRACT

The 2019 coronavirus infectious disease (COVID-19) is caused by infection with the new severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). Currently, the treatment options for COVID-19 are limited. The purpose of the experiments presented here was to investigate the effectiveness of ketotifen, naproxen and indomethacin, alone or in combination, in reducing SARS-CoV-2 replication. In addition, the cytotoxicity of the drugs was evaluated. The findings showed that the combination of ketotifen with indomethacin (SJP-002C) or naproxen both reduce viral yield. Compared to ketotifen alone (60% inhibition at EC50), an increase in percentage inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 to 79%, 83% and 93% was found when co-administered with 25, 50 and 100 µM indomethacin, respectively. Compared to ketotifen alone, an increase in percentage inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 to 68%, 68% and 92% was found when co-administered with 25, 50 and 100 µM naproxen, respectively. For both drug combinations the observations suggest an additive or synergistic effect, compared to administering the drugs alone. No cytotoxic effects were observed for the administered dosages of ketotifen, naproxen, and indomethacin. Further research is warranted to investigate the efficacy of the combination of ketotifen with indomethacin (SJP-002C) or naproxen in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection in humans.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Indomethacin/pharmacology , Ketotifen/pharmacology , Naproxen/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/drug effects , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Drug Synergism , Drug Therapy, Combination , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
8.
J Antimicrob Chemother ; 76(2): 413-417, 2021 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-915872

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: As the causative agent of COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2 is a pathogen of immense importance to global public health. Development of innovative direct-acting antiviral agents is sorely needed to address this virus. Peptide-conjugated morpholino oligomers (PPMO) are antisense compounds composed of a phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer covalently conjugated to a cell-penetrating peptide. PPMO require no delivery assistance to enter cells and are able to reduce expression of targeted RNA through sequence-specific steric blocking. METHODS: Five PPMO designed against sequences of genomic RNA in the SARS-CoV-2 5'-untranslated region and a negative control PPMO of random sequence were synthesized. Each PPMO was evaluated for its effect on the viability of uninfected cells and its inhibitory effect on the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in Vero-E6 cell cultures. Cell viability was evaluated with an ATP-based method using a 48 h PPMO treatment time. Viral growth was measured with quantitative RT-PCR and TCID50 infectivity assays from experiments where cells received a 5 h PPMO treatment time. RESULTS: PPMO designed to base-pair with sequence in the 5' terminal region or the leader transcription regulatory sequence region of SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA were highly efficacious, reducing viral titres by up to 4-6 log10 in cell cultures at 48-72 h post-infection, in a non-toxic and dose-responsive manner. CONCLUSIONS: The data indicate that PPMO have the ability to potently and specifically suppress SARS-CoV-2 growth and are promising candidates for further preclinical development.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cell-Penetrating Peptides/pharmacology , Morpholinos/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Cell Survival/drug effects , Cell-Penetrating Peptides/chemistry , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/drug effects , Morpholinos/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Vero Cells
9.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 10100, 2020 06 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-832425

ABSTRACT

RNA viruses are responsible for a large variety of animal infections. Equine Arteritis Virus (EAV) is a positive single-stranded RNA virus member of the family Arteriviridae from the order Nidovirales like the Coronaviridae. EAV causes respiratory and reproductive diseases in equids. Although two vaccines are available, the vaccination coverage of the equine population is largely insufficient to prevent new EAV outbreaks around the world. In this study, we present a high-throughput in vitro assay suitable for testing candidate antiviral molecules on equine dermal cells infected by EAV. Using this assay, we identified three molecules that impair EAV infection in equine cells: the broad-spectrum antiviral and nucleoside analog ribavirin, and two compounds previously described as inhibitors of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH), the fourth enzyme of the pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway. These molecules effectively suppressed cytopathic effects associated to EAV infection, and strongly inhibited viral replication and production of infectious particles. Since ribavirin is already approved in human and small animal, and that several DHODH inhibitors are in advanced clinical trials, our results open new perspectives for the management of EAV outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Arterivirus Infections/drug therapy , Equartevirus/metabolism , Ribavirin/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Arterivirus Infections/veterinary , Cell Line , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/drug effects , Horse Diseases/virology , Horses/genetics , Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-CH Group Donors/metabolism , Purines/antagonists & inhibitors , Purines/biosynthesis , Purines/pharmacology , Pyrimidines/antagonists & inhibitors , Pyrimidines/biosynthesis , Pyrimidines/pharmacology , RNA/pharmacology , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/physiology
10.
Nat Commun ; 11(1): 4282, 2020 08 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733525

ABSTRACT

The main protease, Mpro (or 3CLpro) in SARS-CoV-2 is a viable drug target because of its essential role in the cleavage of the virus polypeptide. Feline infectious peritonitis, a fatal coronavirus infection in cats, was successfully treated previously with a prodrug GC376, a dipeptide-based protease inhibitor. Here, we show the prodrug and its parent GC373, are effective inhibitors of the Mpro from both SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 with IC50 values in the nanomolar range. Crystal structures of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro with these inhibitors have a covalent modification of the nucleophilic Cys145. NMR analysis reveals that inhibition proceeds via reversible formation of a hemithioacetal. GC373 and GC376 are potent inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell culture. They are strong drug candidates for the treatment of human coronavirus infections because they have already been successful in animals. The work here lays the framework for their use in human trials for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus, Feline/drug effects , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , A549 Cells , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Binding Sites , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus, Feline/enzymology , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/drug effects , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Molecular Structure , Prodrugs , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Pyrrolidines/chemistry , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , SARS Virus/drug effects , SARS Virus/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sulfonic Acids , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication/drug effects
11.
Pharmacol Res ; 159: 104960, 2020 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-401828

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by the emerging severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is associated with a crude case fatality rate of about 0.5-10 % depending on locality. A few clinically approved drugs, such as remdesivir, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, nafamostat, camostat, and ivermectin, exhibited anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in vitro and/or in a small number of patients. However, their clinical use may be limited by anti-SARS-CoV-2 50 % maximal effective concentrations (EC50) that exceeded their achievable peak serum concentrations (Cmax), side effects, and/or availability. To find more immediately available COVID-19 antivirals, we established a two-tier drug screening system that combines SARS-CoV-2 enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and cell viability assay, and applied it to screen a library consisting 1528 FDA-approved drugs. Cetilistat (anti-pancreatic lipase), diiodohydroxyquinoline (anti-parasitic), abiraterone acetate (synthetic androstane steroid), and bexarotene (antineoplastic retinoid) exhibited potent in vitro anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity (EC50 1.13-2.01 µM). Bexarotene demonstrated the highest Cmax:EC50 ratio (1.69) which was higher than those of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and ivermectin. These results demonstrated the efficacy of the two-tier screening system and identified potential COVID-19 treatments which can achieve effective levels if given by inhalation or systemically depending on their pharmacokinetics.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Androstenes/pharmacology , Animals , Benzoxazines/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Betacoronavirus/physiology , Bexarotene/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral/drug effects , Databases, Pharmaceutical , Drug Approval , Drug Repositioning , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Humans , Iodoquinol/pharmacology , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2 , United States , United States Food and Drug Administration , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
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