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Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 23(27): 14873-14888, 2021 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541260


The COVID-19 disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, first detected in December 2019, is still emerging through virus mutations. Although almost under control in some countries due to effective vaccines that are mitigating the worldwide pandemic, the urgency to develop additional vaccines and therapeutic treatments is imperative. In this work, the natural polyphenols corilagin and 1,3,6-tri-O-galloy-ß-d-glucose (TGG) are investigated to determine the structural basis of inhibitor interactions as potential candidates to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 viral entry into target cells. First, the therapeutic potential of the ligands are assessed on the ACE2/wild-type RBD. We first use molecular docking followed by molecular dynamics, to take into account the conformational flexibility that plays a significant role in ligand binding and that cannot be captured using only docking, and then analyze more precisely the affinity of these ligands using MMPBSA binding free energy. We show that both ligands bind to the ACE2/wild-type RBD interface with good affinities which might prevent the ACE2/RBD association. Second, we confirm the potency of these ligands to block the ACE2/RBD association using a combination of surface plasmon resonance and biochemical inhibition assays. These experiments confirm that TGG and, to a lesser extent, corilagin, inhibit the binding of RBD to ACE2. Both experiments and simulations show that the ligands interact preferentially with RBD, while weak binding is observed with ACE2, hence, avoiding potential physiological side-effects induced by the inhibition of ACE2. In addition to the wild-type RBD, we also study numerically three RBD mutations (E484K, N501Y and E484K/N501Y) found in the main SARS-CoV-2 variants of concerns. We find that corilagin could be as effective for RBD/E484K but less effective for the RBD/N501Y and RBD/E484K-N501Y mutants, while TGG strongly binds at relevant locations to all three mutants, demonstrating the significant interest of these molecules as potential inhibitors for variants of SARS-CoV-2.

Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Gallic Acid/analogs & derivatives , Glucose/analogs & derivatives , Glucosides/chemistry , Hydrolyzable Tannins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , Gallic Acid/chemistry , Glucose/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(13)2021 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1304670


Silk fibroin (SF) has attracted much attention due to its high, tunable mechanical strength and excellent biocompatibility. Imparting the ability to respond to external stimuli can further enhance its scope of application. In order to imbue stimuli-responsive behavior in silk fibroin, we propose a new conjugated material, namely cationic SF (CSF) obtained by chemical modification of silk fibroin with ε-Poly-(L-lysine) (ε-PLL). This pH-responsive CSF hydrogel was prepared by enzymatic crosslinking using horseradish peroxidase and H2O2. Zeta potential measurements and SDS-PAGE gel electrophoresis show successful synthesis, with an increase in isoelectric point from 4.1 to 8.6. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) results show that the modification does not affect the crystalline structure of SF. Most importantly, the synthesized CSF hydrogel has an excellent pH response. At 10 wt.% ε-PLL, a significant change in swelling with pH is observed. We further demonstrate that the hydrogel can be glucose-responsive by the addition of glucose oxidase (GOx). At high glucose concentration (400 mg/dL), the swelling of CSF/GOx hydrogel is as high as 345 ± 16%, while swelling in 200 mg/dL, 100 mg/dL and 0 mg/dL glucose solutions is 237 ± 12%, 163 ± 12% and 98 ± 15%, respectively. This shows the responsive swelling of CSF/GOx hydrogels to glucose, thus providing sufficient conditions for rapid drug release. Together with the versatility and biological properties of fibroin, such stimuli-responsive silk hydrogels have great potential in intelligent drug delivery, as soft matter substrates for enzymatic reactions and in other biomedical applications.

Drug Delivery Systems/methods , Fibroins/chemistry , Glucose/metabolism , Hydrogels/chemical synthesis , Biocompatible Materials/chemistry , Drug Liberation , Fibroins/metabolism , Glucose/chemistry , Horseradish Peroxidase/chemistry , Hydrogen Peroxide/chemistry , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Polylysine/chemistry , Silk/chemistry , Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared/methods , X-Ray Diffraction