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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(43)2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493345

ABSTRACT

The host cell serine protease TMPRSS2 is an attractive therapeutic target for COVID-19 drug discovery. This protease activates the Spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and of other coronaviruses and is essential for viral spread in the lung. Utilizing rational structure-based drug design (SBDD) coupled to substrate specificity screening of TMPRSS2, we have discovered covalent small-molecule ketobenzothiazole (kbt) TMPRSS2 inhibitors which are structurally distinct from and have significantly improved activity over the existing known inhibitors Camostat and Nafamostat. Lead compound MM3122 (4) has an IC50 (half-maximal inhibitory concentration) of 340 pM against recombinant full-length TMPRSS2 protein, an EC50 (half-maximal effective concentration) of 430 pM in blocking host cell entry into Calu-3 human lung epithelial cells of a newly developed VSV-SARS-CoV-2 chimeric virus, and an EC50 of 74 nM in inhibiting cytopathic effects induced by SARS-CoV-2 virus in Calu-3 cells. Further, MM3122 blocks Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cell entry with an EC50 of 870 pM. MM3122 has excellent metabolic stability, safety, and pharmacokinetics in mice, with a half-life of 8.6 h in plasma and 7.5 h in lung tissue, making it suitable for in vivo efficacy evaluation and a promising drug candidate for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Benzothiazoles/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Oligopeptides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Animals , Benzamidines/chemistry , Benzothiazoles/pharmacokinetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Drug Design , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/virology , Esters/chemistry , Guanidines/chemistry , Humans , Lung/drug effects , Lung/virology , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Oligopeptides/pharmacokinetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/ultrastructure , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Substrate Specificity/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects
2.
J Virol ; 95(19): e0086121, 2021 09 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1486519

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the viral pathogen causing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic. No effective treatment for COVID-19 has been established yet. The serine protease transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) is essential for viral spread and pathogenicity by facilitating the entry of SARS-CoV-2 into host cells. The protease inhibitor camostat, an anticoagulant used in the clinic, has potential anti-inflammatory and antiviral activities against COVID-19. However, the potential mechanisms of viral resistance and antiviral activity of camostat are unclear. Herein, we demonstrate high inhibitory potencies of camostat for a panel of serine proteases, indicating that camostat is a broad-spectrum inhibitor of serine proteases. In addition, we determined the crystal structure of camostat in complex with a serine protease (uPA [urokinase-type plasminogen activator]), which reveals that camostat is inserted in the S1 pocket of uPA but is hydrolyzed by uPA, and the cleaved camostat covalently binds to Ser195. We also generated a homology model of the structure of the TMPRSS2 serine protease domain. The model shows that camostat uses the same inhibitory mechanism to inhibit the activity of TMPRSS2, subsequently preventing SARS-CoV-2 spread. IMPORTANCE Serine proteases are a large family of enzymes critical for multiple physiological processes and proven diagnostic and therapeutic targets in several clinical indications. The serine protease transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) was recently found to mediate SARS-CoV-2 entry into the host. Camostat mesylate (FOY 305), a serine protease inhibitor active against TMPRSS2 and used for the treatment of oral squamous cell carcinoma and chronic pancreatitis, inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection of human lung cells. However, the direct inhibition mechanism of camostat mesylate for TMPRSS2 is unclear. Herein, we demonstrate that camostat uses the same inhibitory mechanism to inhibit the activity of TMPRSS2 as uPA, subsequently preventing SARS-CoV-2 spread.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Esters/pharmacology , Guanidines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Serine Endopeptidases/pharmacology , Serine Proteases/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Carcinoma, Squamous Cell , Esters/chemistry , Esters/metabolism , Guanidines/chemistry , Guanidines/metabolism , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mouth Neoplasms , Protein Domains , Sequence Alignment , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Serine Proteases/chemistry , Serine Proteases/metabolism , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Virus Internalization/drug effects
3.
J Am Chem Soc ; 143(43): 17975-17982, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1483092

ABSTRACT

Targeted and efficient delivery of nucleic acids with viral and synthetic vectors is the key step of genetic nanomedicine. The four-component lipid nanoparticle synthetic delivery systems consisting of ionizable lipids, phospholipids, cholesterol, and a PEG-conjugated lipid, assembled by microfluidic or T-tube technology, have been extraordinarily successful for delivery of mRNA to provide Covid-19 vaccines. Recently, we reported a one-component multifunctional sequence-defined ionizable amphiphilic Janus dendrimer (IAJD) synthetic delivery system for mRNA relying on amphiphilic Janus dendrimers and glycodendrimers developed in our laboratory. Amphiphilic Janus dendrimers consist of functional hydrophilic dendrons conjugated to hydrophobic dendrons. Co-assembly of IAJDs with mRNA into dendrimersome nanoparticles (DNPs) occurs by simple injection in acetate buffer, rather than by microfluidic devices, and provides a very efficient system for delivery of mRNA to lung. Here we report the replacement of most of the hydrophilic fragment of the dendron from IAJDs, maintaining only its ionizable amine, while changing its interconnecting group to the hydrophobic dendron from amide to ester. The resulting IAJDs demonstrated that protonated ionizable amines play dual roles of hydrophilic fragment and binding ligand for mRNA, changing delivery from lung to spleen and/or liver. Replacing the interconnecting ester with the amide switched the delivery back to lung. Delivery predominantly to liver is favored by pairs of odd and even alkyl groups in the hydrophobic dendron. This simple structural change transformed the targeted delivery of mRNA mediated with IAJDs, from lung to liver and spleen, and expands the utility of DNPs from therapeutics to vaccines.


Subject(s)
Dendrimers/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , Amines/chemistry , Animals , Esters/chemistry , Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions , Ions/chemistry , Mice , Nanoparticles/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/immunology , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Vaccines, Synthetic/chemistry , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , Vaccines, Synthetic/metabolism
4.
Molecules ; 26(19)2021 Sep 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438673

ABSTRACT

We report the design and synthesis of a series of new 5-chloropyridinyl esters of salicylic acid, ibuprofen, indomethacin, and related aromatic carboxylic acids for evaluation against SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease enzyme. These ester derivatives were synthesized using EDC in the presence of DMAP to provide various esters in good to excellent yields. Compounds are stable and purified by silica gel chromatography and characterized using 1H-NMR, 13C-NMR, and mass spectral analysis. These synthetic derivatives were evaluated in our in vitro SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibition assay using authentic SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro enzyme. Compounds were also evaluated in our in vitro antiviral assay using quantitative VeroE6 cell-based assay with RNAqPCR. A number of compounds exhibited potent SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitory activity and antiviral activity. Compound 9a was the most potent inhibitor, with an enzyme IC50 value of 160 nM. Compound 13b exhibited an enzyme IC50 value of 4.9 µM. However, it exhibited a potent antiviral EC50 value of 24 µM in VeroE6 cells. Remdesivir, an RdRp inhibitor, exhibited an antiviral EC50 value of 2.4 µM in the same assay. We assessed the mode of inhibition using mass spectral analysis which suggested the formation of a covalent bond with the enzyme. To obtain molecular insight, we have created a model of compound 9a bound to SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro in the active site.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/chemistry , Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Esters/chemistry , Esters/pharmacology , Halogenation , Humans , Ibuprofen/analogs & derivatives , Ibuprofen/pharmacology , Indomethacin/analogs & derivatives , Indomethacin/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pyridines/chemistry , Pyridines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Salicylic Acid/chemistry , Salicylic Acid/pharmacology , Vero Cells
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(13)2021 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1288905

ABSTRACT

Positively charged groups that mimic arginine or lysine in a natural substrate of trypsin are necessary for drugs to inhibit the trypsin-like serine protease TMPRSS2 that is involved in the viral entry and spread of coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2. Based on this assumption, we identified a set of 13 approved or clinically investigational drugs with positively charged guanidinobenzoyl and/or aminidinobenzoyl groups, including the experimentally verified TMPRSS2 inhibitors Camostat and Nafamostat. Molecular docking using the C-I-TASSER-predicted TMPRSS2 catalytic domain model suggested that the guanidinobenzoyl or aminidinobenzoyl group in all the drugs could form putative salt bridge interactions with the side-chain carboxyl group of Asp435 located in the S1 pocket of TMPRSS2. Molecular dynamics simulations further revealed the high stability of the putative salt bridge interactions over long-time (100 ns) simulations. The molecular mechanics/generalized Born surface area-binding free energy assessment and per-residue energy decomposition analysis also supported the strong binding interactions between TMPRSS2 and the proposed drugs. These results suggest that the proposed compounds, in addition to Camostat and Nafamostat, could be effective TMPRSS2 inhibitors for COVID-19 treatment by occupying the S1 pocket with the hallmark positively charged groups.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Benzamidines/chemistry , Benzamidines/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Esters/chemistry , Esters/metabolism , Guanidines/chemistry , Guanidines/metabolism , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Serine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Thermodynamics
6.
Chem Biol Interact ; 338: 109428, 2021 Apr 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1103757

ABSTRACT

Camostat mesylate, a potent inhibitor of the human transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2), is currently under investigation for its effectiveness in COVID-19 patients. For its safe application, the risks of camostat mesylate to induce pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions with co-administered drugs should be known. We therefore tested in vitro the potential inhibition of important efflux (P-glycoprotein (P-gp, ABCB1), breast cancer resistance protein (BCRP, ABCG2)), and uptake transporters (organic anion transporting polypeptides OATP1B1, OATP1B3, OATP2B1) by camostat mesylate and its active metabolite 4-(4-guanidinobenzoyloxy)phenylacetic acid (GBPA). Transporter inhibition was evaluated using fluorescent probe substrates in transporter over-expressing cell lines and compared to the respective parental cell lines. Moreover, possible mRNA induction of pharmacokinetically relevant genes regulated by the nuclear pregnane X receptor (PXR) and aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) was analysed in LS180 cells by quantitative real-time PCR. The results of our study for the first time demonstrated that camostat mesylate and GBPA do not relevantly inhibit P-gp, BCRP, OATP1B1 or OATP1B3. Only OATP2B1 was profoundly inhibited by GBPA with an IC50 of 11 µM. Induction experiments in LS180 cells excluded induction of PXR-regulated genes such as cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) and ABCB1 and AhR-regulated genes such as CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 by camostat mesylate and GBPA. Together with the summary of product characteristics of camostat mesylate indicating no inhibition of CYP1A2, 2C9, 2C19, 2D6, and 3A4 in vitro, our data suggest a low potential of camostat mesylate to act as a perpetrator in pharmacokinetic drug-drug interactions. Only inhibition of OATP2B1 by GBPA warrants further investigation.


Subject(s)
Drug Interactions , Esters/metabolism , Guanidines/metabolism , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 2/antagonists & inhibitors , ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily G, Member 2/metabolism , Cell Line , Cell Survival/drug effects , Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1/genetics , Cytochrome P-450 CYP1A1/metabolism , Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A/genetics , Cytochrome P-450 CYP3A/metabolism , Esters/chemistry , Esters/pharmacology , Guanidines/chemistry , Guanidines/pharmacology , Humans , Organic Anion Transporters/antagonists & inhibitors , Organic Anion Transporters/metabolism , Pregnane X Receptor/genetics , Pregnane X Receptor/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/genetics , Receptors, Aryl Hydrocarbon/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology
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