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Biomacromolecules ; 24(1): 141-149, 2023 01 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2185444


The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has threatened the stability of global healthcare, which is becoming an endemic issue. Despite the development of various treatment strategies to fight COVID-19, the currently available treatment options have shown varied efficacy. Herein, we have developed an avidity-based SARS-CoV-2 antagonist using dendrimer-peptide conjugates (DPCs) for effective COVID-19 treatment. Two different peptide fragments obtained from angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) were integrated into a single sequence, followed by the conjugation to poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimers. We hypothesized that the strong multivalent binding avidity endowed by dendrimers would help peptides effectively block the interaction between SARS-CoV-2 and ACE2, and this antagonist effect would be dependent upon the generation (size) of the dendrimers. To assess this, binding kinetics of the DPCs prepared from generation 4 (G4) and G7 PAMAM dendrimers to spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 were quantitatively measured using surface plasmon resonance. The larger dendrimer-based DPCs exhibited significantly enhanced binding strength by 3 orders of magnitude compared to the free peptides, whereas the smaller one showed a 12.8-fold increase only. An in vitro assay using SARS-CoV-2-mimicking microbeads also showed the improved SARS-CoV-2 blockade efficiency of the G7-peptide conjugates compared to G4. In addition, the interaction between the DPCs and SARS-CoV-2 was analyzed using molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, providing an insight into how the dendrimer-mediated multivalent binding effect can enhance the SARS-CoV-2 blockade. Our findings demonstrate that the DPCs having strong binding to SARS-CoV-2 effectively block the interaction between ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2, providing a potential as a high-affinity drug delivery system to direct anti-COVID payloads to the virus.

COVID-19 , Dendrimers , Humans , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19 Drug Treatment , Dendrimers/pharmacology , Peptides/pharmacology , Peptides/metabolism , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/chemistry , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(12)2021 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1282513


Novel antiviral nanotherapeutics, which may inactivate the virus and block it from entering host cells, represent an important challenge to face viral global health emergencies around the world. Using a combination of bioorthogonal copper-catalyzed 1,3-dipolar alkyne/azide cycloaddition (CuAAC) and photoinitiated thiol-ene coupling, monofunctional and bifunctional peptidodendrimer conjugates were obtained. The conjugates are biocompatible and demonstrate no toxicity to cells at biologically relevant concentrations. Furthermore, the orthogonal addition of multiple copies of two different antiviral peptides on the surface of a single dendrimer allowed the resulting bioconjugates to inhibit Herpes simplex virus type 1 at both the early and the late stages of the infection process. The presented work builds on further improving this attractive design to obtain a new class of therapeutics.

Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Dendrimers/pharmacology , Glycoproteins , Herpesvirus 1, Human , Peptides/pharmacology , Viral Proteins , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , CHO Cells , Cell Line , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chemical Phenomena , Chemistry Techniques, Synthetic , Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid , Cricetulus , Dendrimers/chemistry , Glycoproteins/chemistry , Herpesvirus 1, Human/metabolism , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Structure , Peptides/chemistry , Spectrum Analysis , Viral Proteins/chemistry
Antiviral Res ; 191: 105089, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1230350


An effective response to the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) will involve a range of complementary preventive modalities. The current studies were conducted to evaluate the in vitro SARS-CoV-2 antiviral and virucidal (irreversible) activity of astodrimer sodium, a dendrimer with broad spectrum antimicrobial activity, including against enveloped viruses in in vitro and in vivo models, that is marketed for antiviral and antibacterial applications. We report that astodrimer sodium inhibits replication of SARS-CoV-2 in Vero E6 and Calu-3 cells, with 50% effective concentrations (EC50) for i) reducing virus-induced cytopathic effect of 0.002-0.012 mg/mL in Vero E6 cells, and ii) infectious virus release by plaque assay of 0.019-0.032 mg/mL in Vero E6 cells and 0.030-0.037 mg/mL in Calu-3 cells. The selectivity index (SI) in these assays was as high as 2197. Astodrimer sodium was also virucidal, irreversibly reducing SARS-CoV-2 infectivity by >99.9% (>3 log10) within 1 min of exposure, and up to >99.999% (>5 log10) shown at astodrimer sodium concentrations of 10-30 mg/mL in Vero E6 and Calu-3 cell lines. Astodrimer sodium also inhibited infection in a primary human airway epithelial cell line. The data were similar for all investigations and were consistent with the potent antiviral and virucidal activity of astodrimer sodium being due to irreversible inhibition of virus-host cell interactions, as previously demonstrated for other viruses. Further studies will confirm if astodrimer sodium binds to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and physically blocks initial attachment of the virus to the host cell. Given the in vitro effectiveness and significantly high SI, astodrimer sodium warrants further investigation for potential as a topically administered agent for SARS-CoV-2 therapeutic applications.

Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Dendrimers/pharmacology , Polylysine/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cytopathogenic Effect, Viral , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Vero Cells