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1.
Biosensors (Basel) ; 12(3)2022 Mar 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1760370

ABSTRACT

Most methods for measuring environmental lead (Pb) content are time consuming, expensive, hazardous, and restricted to specific analytical systems. To provide a facile, safe tool to detect Pb, we created pMet-lead, a portable fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based Pb-biosensor. The pMet-lead device comprises a 3D-printed frame housing a 405-nm laser diode-an excitation source for fluorescence emission images (YFP and CFP)-accompanied by optical filters, a customized sample holder with a Met-lead 1.44 M1 (the most recent version)-embedded biochip, and an optical lens aligned for smartphone compatibility. Measuring the emission ratios (Y/C) of the FRET components enabled Pb detection with a dynamic range of nearly 2 (1.96), a pMet-lead/Pb dissociation constant (Kd) 45.62 nM, and a limit of detection 24 nM (0.474 µg/dL, 4.74 ppb). To mitigate earlier problems with a lack of selectivity for Pb vs. zinc, we preincubated samples with tricine, a low-affinity zinc chelator. We validated the pMet-lead measurements of the characterized laboratory samples and unknown samples from six regions in Taiwan by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). Notably, two unknown samples had Y/C ratios significantly higher than that of the control (3.48 ± 0.08 and 3.74 ± 0.12 vs. 2.79 ± 0.02), along with Pb concentrations (10.6 ppb and 15.24 ppb) above the WHO-permitted level of 10 ppb in tap water, while the remaining four unknowns showed no detectable Pb upon ICP-MS. These results demonstrate that pMet-lead provides a rapid, sensitive means for on-site Pb detection in water from the environment and in living/drinking supply systems to prevent potential Pb poisoning.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Biosensing Techniques/methods , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer/methods , Smartphone , Water
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(4)2022 Feb 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715403

ABSTRACT

As the etiological agent for the coronavirus disease 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) challenges the ongoing efforts of vaccine development and drug design. Due to the accumulating cases of breakthrough infections, there are urgent needs for broad-spectrum antiviral medicines. Here, we designed and examined five new tetrapeptidomimetic anti-SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors targeting the 3C-Like protease (3CLPro), which is highly conserved among coronaviruses and essential for viral replications. We significantly improved the efficacy of a ketoamide lead compound based on high-resolution co-crystal structures, all-atom simulations, and binding energy calculations. The inhibitors successfully engaged the catalytic dyad histidine residue (H41) of 3CLPro as designed, and they exhibited nanomolar inhibitory capacity as well as mitigated the viral loads of SARS-CoV-2 in cellular assays. As a widely applicable design principle, our results revealed that the potencies of 3CLPro-specific drug candidates were determined by the interplay between 3CLPro H41 residue and the peptidomimetic inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Catalytic Domain , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Drug Design , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Histidine/chemistry , Ligands , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells
3.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 988, 2022 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1713165

ABSTRACT

Translating ribosomes unwind mRNA secondary structures by three basepairs each elongation cycle. Despite the ribosome helicase, certain mRNA stem-loops stimulate programmed ribosomal frameshift by inhibiting translation elongation. Here, using mutagenesis, biochemical and single-molecule experiments, we examine whether high stability of three basepairs, which are unwound by the translating ribosome, is critical for inducing ribosome pauses. We find that encountering frameshift-inducing mRNA stem-loops from the E. coli dnaX mRNA and the gag-pol transcript of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) hinders A-site tRNA binding and slows down ribosome translocation by 15-20 folds. By contrast, unwinding of first three basepairs adjacent to the mRNA entry channel slows down the translating ribosome by only 2-3 folds. Rather than high thermodynamic stability, specific length and structure enable regulatory mRNA stem-loops to stall translation by forming inhibitory interactions with the ribosome. Our data provide the basis for rationalizing transcriptome-wide studies of translation and searching for novel regulatory mRNA stem-loops.


Subject(s)
Frameshifting, Ribosomal , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , DNA Polymerase III/genetics , Escherichia coli/genetics , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , HIV/genetics , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA, Bacterial/chemistry , RNA, Bacterial/metabolism , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Transfer/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/metabolism , Single Molecule Imaging , Thermodynamics
4.
J Chem Inf Model ; 61(12): 5763-5773, 2021 12 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1608918

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 caused by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has been spreading all over the world since the end of 2019, and no specific drug has been developed yet. 3C-like protease (3CLpro) acts as an important part of the replication of novel coronavirus and is a promising target for the development of anticoronavirus drugs. In this paper, eight machine learning models were constructed using naïve Bayesian (NB) and recursive partitioning (RP) algorithms for 3CLpro on the basis of optimized two-dimensional (2D) molecular descriptors (MDs) combined with ECFP_4, ECFP_6, and MACCS molecular fingerprints. The optimal models were selected according to the results of 5-fold cross verification, test set verification, and external test set verification. A total of 5766 natural compounds from the internal natural product database were predicted, among which 369 chemical components were predicted to be active compounds by the optimal models and the EstPGood values were more than 0.6, as predicted by the NB (MD + ECFP_6) model. Through ADMET analysis, 31 compounds were selected for further biological activity determination by the fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) method and cytopathic effect (CPE) detection. The results indicated that (+)-shikonin, shikonin, scutellarein, and 5,3',4'-trihydroxyflavone showed certain activity in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro with the half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) values ranging from 4.38 to 87.76 µM. In the CPE assay, 5,3',4'-trihydroxyflavone showed a certain antiviral effect with an IC50 value of 8.22 µM. The binding mechanism of 5,3',4'-trihydroxyflavone with SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro was further revealed through CDOCKER analysis. In this study, 3CLpro prediction models were constructed based on machine learning algorithms for the prediction of active compounds, and the activity of potential inhibitors was determined by the FRET method and CPE assay, which provide important information for further discovery and development of antinovel coronavirus drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Bayes Theorem , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Humans , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology
5.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 61(9): e202113617, 2022 02 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1565164

ABSTRACT

The main protease (Mpro ) and papain-like protease (PLpro ) play critical roles in SARS-CoV-2 replication and are promising targets for antiviral inhibitors. The simultaneous visualization of Mpro and PLpro is extremely valuable for SARS-CoV-2 detection and rapid inhibitor screening. However, such a crucial investigation has remained challenging because of the lack of suitable probes. We have now developed a dual-color probe (3MBP5) for the simultaneous detection of Mpro and PLpro by fluorescence (or Förster) resonance energy transfer (FRET). This probe produces fluorescence from both the Cy3 and Cy5 fluorophores that are cleaved by Mpro and PLpro . 3MBP5-activatable specificity was demonstrated with recombinant proteins, inhibitors, plasmid-transfected HEK 293T cells, and SARS-CoV-2-infected TMPRSS2-Vero cells. Results from the dual-color probe first verified the simultaneous detection and intracellular distribution of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and PLpro . This is a powerful tool for the simultaneous detection of different proteases with value for the rapid screening of inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Color , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Fluorescent Dyes/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , HEK293 Cells , Humans
6.
SAR QSAR Environ Res ; 32(12): 963-983, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532255

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus helicase is an essential enzyme required for viral replication/transcription pathways. Structural studies revealed a sulphate moiety that interacts with key residues within the nucleotide-binding site of the helicase. Compounds with a sulphoxide or a sulphone moiety could interfere with these interactions and consequently inhibit the enzyme. The molecular operating environment (MOE) was used to dock 189 sulphoxide and sulphone-containing FDA-approved compounds to the nucleotide-binding site. Zafirlukast, a leukotriene receptor antagonist used to treat chronic asthma, achieved the lowest docking score at -8.75 kcals/mol. The inhibitory effect of the compounds on the SARS-CoV-2 helicase dsDNA unwinding activity was tested by a FRET-based assay. Zafirlukast was the only compound to inhibit the enzyme (IC50 = 16.3 µM). The treatment of Vero E6 cells with 25 µM zafirlukast prior to SARS-CoV-2 infection decreased the cytopathic effects of SARS-CoV-2 significantly. These results suggest that zafirlukast alleviates SARS-CoV-2 pathogenicity by inhibiting the viral helicase and impairing the viral replication/transcription pathway. Zafirlukast could be clinically developed as a new antiviral treatment for SARS-CoV-2 and other coronavirus diseases. This discovery is based on molecular modelling, in vitro inhibition of the SARS-CoV helicase activity and cell-based SARS-CoV-2 viral replication.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , DNA Helicases/antagonists & inhibitors , Indoles/pharmacology , Phenylcarbamates/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Sulfonamides/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chlorocebus aethiops , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
7.
STAR Protoc ; 3(1): 101024, 2022 03 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1525990

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infects human cells through the interaction of the viral envelope spike protein (IPR044366) with the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), expressed at the surface of target cells. Here, we describe a detailed protocol to measure the binding of the receptor binding domain (RBD) of spike to ACE2 by time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET). The assay detects the spike/ACE2 interaction in physiologically relevant cellular contexts and is suitable for high-throughput investigation of interfering small-molecule compounds and antibodies. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Cecon et al. (2021).


Subject(s)
Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer/methods , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Binding/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
8.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 11(1): 14-17, 2022 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1517761

ABSTRACT

Knowledge of SARS-CoV-2 variants is essential for formulating effective control policies. Currently, variants are only identified in relatively small percentages of cases as the required genome sequencing is expensive, time-consuming, and not always available. In countries with facilities to sequence the SARS-CoV-2, the Delta variant currently predominates. Elsewhere, the prevalence of the Delta variant is unclear. To avoid the need for sequencing, we investigated a RT-FRET-PCR that could detect all SARS-CoV-2 strains and simultaneously identify the Delta variant. The established Delta RT-FRET-PCR was performed on reference SARS-CoV-2 strains, and human nasal swab samples positive for the Delta and non-Delta strains. The Delta RT-FRET-PCR established in this study detected as few as ten copies of the DNA target and 100 copies of RNA target per reaction. Melting points of products obtained with SARS-CoV-2 Delta variants (around 56.1°C) were consistently higher than products obtained with non-Delta strains (around 52.5°C). The Delta RT-FRET-PCR can be used to diagnose COVID-19 patients and simultaneously identify if they are infected with the Delta variant. The Delta RT-FRET-PCR can be performed with all major thermocycler brands meaning data on Delta variant can now be readily generated in diagnostic laboratories worldwide.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Alleles , Amino Acid Substitution , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer/methods , Humans , Mutation , RNA, Viral , Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , SARS-CoV-2/classification , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics
9.
Bioorg Chem ; 117: 105455, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1487613

ABSTRACT

The main protease (Mpro or 3CLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 virus is a cysteine enzyme critical for viral replication and transcription, thus indicating a potential target for antiviral therapy. A recent repurposing effort has identified ebselen, a multifunctional drug candidate as an inhibitor of Mpro. Our docking of ebselen to the binding pocket of Mpro crystal structure suggests a noncovalent interaction for improvement of potency, antiviral activity and selectivity. To test this hypothesis, we designed and synthesized ebselen derivatives aimed at enhancing their non-covalent bonds within Mpro. The inhibition of Mpro by ebselen derivatives (0.3 µM) was screened in both HPLC and FRET assays. Nine ebselen derivatives (EBs) exhibited stronger inhibitory effect on Mpro with IC50 of 0.07-0.38 µM. Further evaluation of three derivatives showed that EB2-7 exhibited the most potent inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 viral replication with an IC50 value of 4.08 µM in HPAepiC cells, as compared to the prototype ebselen at 24.61 µM. Mechanistically, EB2-7 functions as a noncovalent Mpro inhibitor in LC-MS/MS assay. Taken together, our identification of ebselen derivatives with improved antiviral activity may lead to developmental potential for treatment of COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Isoindoles/chemistry , Organoselenium Compounds/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Cell Line , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Drug Design , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Humans , Isoindoles/metabolism , Isoindoles/pharmacology , Isoindoles/therapeutic use , Molecular Docking Simulation , Organoselenium Compounds/metabolism , Organoselenium Compounds/pharmacology , Organoselenium Compounds/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Structure-Activity Relationship , Tandem Mass Spectrometry
10.
MAbs ; 13(1): 1978130, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442969

ABSTRACT

Recent years have seen unparalleled development of microfluidic applications for antibody discovery in both academic and pharmaceutical research. Microfluidics can support native chain-paired library generation as well as direct screening of antibody secreting cells obtained by rodent immunization or from the human peripheral blood. While broad diversities of neutralizing antibodies against infectious diseases such as HIV, Ebola, or COVID-19 have been identified from convalescent individuals, microfluidics can expedite therapeutic antibody discovery for cancer or immunological disease indications. In this study, a commercially available microfluidic device, Cyto-Mine, was used for the rapid identification of natively paired antibodies from rodents or human donors screened for specific binding to recombinant antigens, for direct screening with cells expressing the target of interest, and, to our knowledge for the first time, for direct broad functional IgG antibody screening in droplets. The process time from cell preparation to confirmed recombinant antibodies was four weeks. Application of this or similar microfluidic devices and methodologies can accelerate and enhance pharmaceutical antibody hit discovery.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/isolation & purification , Immunoglobulin G/isolation & purification , Microfluidics/methods , Animals , Antibodies, Bacterial/immunology , Antibodies, Bacterial/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Monoclonal/isolation & purification , Antibodies, Viral/isolation & purification , Antibody Specificity , Antigens/immunology , Antigens, Neoplasm/immunology , Blood Preservation , COVID-19/immunology , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Humans , Hybridomas/immunology , Immunomagnetic Separation , Lab-On-A-Chip Devices , Mice , Microfluidics/instrumentation , Muromonab-CD3/immunology , Plasma Cells , Recombinant Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Tetanus Toxoid/immunology , Vaccination
11.
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
12.
J Chin Med Assoc ; 84(8): 745-753, 2021 08 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1398166

ABSTRACT

The detrimental impact of the heavy metal lead (Pb) on human health has been studied for years. The fact that Pb impairs human body has been established from countless painful and sad historical events. Nowadays, World Health Organization and many developmental countries have established regulations concerning the use of Pb. Measuring the blood lead level (BLL) is so far the only way to officially evaluate the degree of Pb exposure, but the so-called safety value (10 µg/dL in adults and 5 µg/dL in children) seems unreliable to represent the security checkpoint for children through daily intake of drinking water or physical contact with a lower contaminated level of Pb contents. In general, unsolved mysteries about the Pb toxicological mechanisms still remain. In this review article, we report on the methods to prevent Pb poison for further Pb toxicological research. We establish high-sensitivity Pb monitoring, and also report on the use of fluorescent biosensors such as genetically-encoded fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based biosensors built for various large demands such as the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. We also contribute to the development and optimization of the FRET-based Pb biosensors. Our well-performed version of Met-lead 1.44 M1 has achieved a limit of detection of 10 nM (2 ppb; 0.2 µg/dL) and almost 5-fold in dynamic range (DR) supported for the real practical applications-that is, the in-cell Pb sensing device for blood and blood-related samples, and the Pb environmental detections in vitro. The perspective of our powerful Pb biosensor incorporated with a highly sensitive bio-chip of the portable device for quick Pb measurements will be addressed for further manipulation.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques/methods , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer/methods , Lead/analysis , Environment
13.
PLoS One ; 16(9): e0256621, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1394545

ABSTRACT

This paper describes a detailed study of spectral and time-resolved photoprocesses in human platelets and their complexes with platinum (Pt) nanoparticles (NPs). Fluorescence, quantum yield, and platelet amino acid lifetime changes in the presence and without femtosecond ablated platinum NPs have been studied. Fluorescence spectroscopy analysis of main fluorescent amino acids and their residues (tyrosine (Tyr), tryptophan (Trp), and phenylalanine (Phe)) belonging to the platelet membrane have been performed. The possibility of energy transfer between Pt NPs and the platelet membrane has been revealed. Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) model was used to perform the quantitative evaluation of energy transfer parameters. The prospects of Pt NPs usage deals with quenching-based sensing for pathology's based on platelet conformations as cardiovascular diseases have been demonstrated.


Subject(s)
Blood Platelets/chemistry , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer/methods , Metal Nanoparticles/chemistry , Platinum/chemistry , Adult , Energy Transfer , Healthy Volunteers , Humans , Spectrometry, Fluorescence/methods
14.
Cell Chem Biol ; 29(1): 74-83.e4, 2022 01 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385233

ABSTRACT

Targeting the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and human ACE2, its primary cell membrane receptor, is a promising therapeutic strategy to prevent viral entry. Recent in vitro studies revealed that the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein plays a prominent role in ACE2 binding, yet a simple and quantitative assay for monitoring this interaction in a cellular environment is lacking. Here, we developed an RBD-ACE2 binding assay that is based on time-resolved FRET, which reliably monitors the interaction in a physiologically relevant and cellular context. Because it is modular, the assay can monitor the impact of different cellular components, such as heparan sulfate, lipids, and membrane proteins on the RBD-ACE2 interaction and it can be extended to the full-length spike protein. The assay is HTS compatible and can detect small-molecule competitive and allosteric modulators of the RBD-ACE2 interaction with high relevance for SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Cells, Cultured , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Protein Binding , Time Factors
15.
ACS Appl Mater Interfaces ; 12(50): 55614-55623, 2020 Dec 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387129

ABSTRACT

Multiplexed detection of viral nucleic acids is important for rapid screening of viral infection. In this study, we present a molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) nanosheet-modified dendrimer droplet microarray (DMA) for rapid and sensitive detection of retroviral nucleic acids of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) and human immunodeficiency virus-2 (HIV-2) simultaneously. The DMA platform was fabricated by omniphobic-omniphilic patterning on a surface-grafted dendrimer substrate. Functionalized MoS2 nanosheets modified with fluorescent dye-labeled oligomer probes were prepatterned on positively charged amino-modified omniphilic spots to form a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) sensing microarray. With the formation of separated microdroplets of sample on the hydrophobic-hydrophilic micropattern, prepatterned oligomer probes specifically hybridized with the target HIV genes and detached from the MoS2 nanosheet surface due to weakening of the adsorption force, leading to fluorescence signal recovery. As a proof of concept, we used this microarray with a small sample size (<150 nL) for simultaneous detection of HIV-1 and HIV-2 nucleic acids with a limit of detection (LOD) of 50 pM. The multiplex detection capability was further demonstrated for simultaneous detection of five viral genes (HIV-1, HIV-2, ORFlab, and N genes of SARS-COV-2 and M gene of Influenza A). This work demonstrated the potential of this novel MoS2-DMA FRET sensing platform for high-throughput multiplexed viral nucleic acid screening.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , COVID-19/diagnosis , HIV Infections/diagnosis , HIV/isolation & purification , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Disulfides/chemistry , Fluorescence , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , HIV/pathogenicity , HIV Infections/genetics , HIV Infections/virology , Humans , Molybdenum/chemistry , Nanostructures/chemistry , Nucleic Acids/genetics , Nucleic Acids/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
16.
STAR Protoc ; 2(3): 100793, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1368796

ABSTRACT

This protocol describes an in vitro fluorogenic assay to measure the proteolytic activity and identify inhibitors of Mpro, the main protease produced by SARS-CoV-2 (Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). Studies to identify potential inhibitors of Mpro mainly rely on in silico molecular dynamics simulations or on FRET (Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer) substrates. The protocol is based on an aminomethyl coumarin substrate. High sensitivity, specificity, and an easily detectable fluorescent read-out are the advantages offered by this rapid assay, which allows high throughput screening of new Mpro inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer/methods , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coumarins/metabolism , Drug Discovery , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , In Vitro Techniques
17.
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
18.
Biochem J ; 478(13): 2405-2423, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1292181

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a global public health challenge. While the efficacy of vaccines against emerging and future virus variants remains unclear, there is a need for therapeutics. Repurposing existing drugs represents a promising and potentially rapid opportunity to find novel antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. The virus encodes at least nine enzymatic activities that are potential drug targets. Here, we have expressed, purified and developed enzymatic assays for SARS-CoV-2 nsp13 helicase, a viral replication protein that is essential for the coronavirus life cycle. We screened a custom chemical library of over 5000 previously characterized pharmaceuticals for nsp13 inhibitors using a fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based high-throughput screening approach. From this, we have identified FPA-124 and several suramin-related compounds as novel inhibitors of nsp13 helicase activity in vitro. We describe the efficacy of these drugs using assays we developed to monitor SARS-CoV-2 growth in Vero E6 cells.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , RNA Helicases/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Enzyme Assays , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , High-Throughput Screening Assays , RNA Helicases/metabolism , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Suramin/pharmacology , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
19.
Biochem J ; 478(13): 2499-2515, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1291175

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), spread around the world with unprecedented health and socio-economic effects for the global population. While different vaccines are now being made available, very few antiviral drugs have been approved. The main viral protease (nsp5) of SARS-CoV-2 provides an excellent target for antivirals, due to its essential and conserved function in the viral replication cycle. We have expressed, purified and developed assays for nsp5 protease activity. We screened the nsp5 protease against a custom chemical library of over 5000 characterised pharmaceuticals. We identified calpain inhibitor I and three different peptidyl fluoromethylketones (FMK) as inhibitors of nsp5 activity in vitro, with IC50 values in the low micromolar range. By altering the sequence of our peptidomimetic FMK inhibitors to better mimic the substrate sequence of nsp5, we generated an inhibitor with a subnanomolar IC50. Calpain inhibitor I inhibited viral infection in monkey-derived Vero E6 cells, with an EC50 in the low micromolar range. The most potent and commercially available peptidyl-FMK compound inhibited viral growth in Vero E6 cells to some extent, while our custom peptidyl FMK inhibitor offered a marked antiviral improvement.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Amino Acid Chloromethyl Ketones/pharmacology , Animals , Azoles/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/isolation & purification , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Enzyme Assays , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Isoindoles , Leupeptins/pharmacology , Organoselenium Compounds/pharmacology , Peptidomimetics , RNA-Binding Proteins/metabolism , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
20.
Biochem J ; 478(13): 2517-2531, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290988

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has emerged as the biggest life-threatening disease of this century. Whilst vaccination should provide a long-term solution, this is pitted against the constant threat of mutations in the virus rendering the current vaccines less effective. Consequently, small molecule antiviral agents would be extremely useful to complement the vaccination program. The causative agent of COVID-19 is a novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, which encodes at least nine enzymatic activities that all have drug targeting potential. The papain-like protease (PLpro) contained in the nsp3 protein generates viral non-structural proteins from a polyprotein precursor, and cleaves ubiquitin and ISG protein conjugates. Here we describe the expression and purification of PLpro. We developed a protease assay that was used to screen a custom compound library from which we identified dihydrotanshinone I and Ro 08-2750 as compounds that inhibit PLpro in protease and isopeptidase assays and also inhibit viral replication in cell culture-based assays.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Aniline Compounds/pharmacology , Animals , Benzamides/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Drug Synergism , Enzyme Assays , Flavins/pharmacology , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , Furans/pharmacology , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Naphthalenes/pharmacology , Phenanthrenes/pharmacology , Quinones/pharmacology , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
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