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1.
Nucleic Acids Res ; 50(3): 1484-1500, 2022 02 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1624985

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus is the causal agent of the current global pandemic. SARS-CoV-2 belongs to an order, Nidovirales, with very large RNA genomes. It is proposed that the fidelity of coronavirus (CoV) genome replication is aided by an RNA nuclease complex, comprising the non-structural proteins 14 and 10 (nsp14-nsp10), an attractive target for antiviral inhibition. Our results validate reports that the SARS-CoV-2 nsp14-nsp10 complex has RNase activity. Detailed functional characterization reveals nsp14-nsp10 is a versatile nuclease capable of digesting a wide variety of RNA structures, including those with a blocked 3'-terminus. Consistent with a role in maintaining viral genome integrity during replication, we find that nsp14-nsp10 activity is enhanced by the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase complex (RdRp) consisting of nsp12-nsp7-nsp8 (nsp12-7-8) and demonstrate that this stimulation is mediated by nsp8. We propose that the role of nsp14-nsp10 in maintaining replication fidelity goes beyond classical proofreading by purging the nascent replicating RNA strand of a range of potentially replication-terminating aberrations. Using our developed assays, we identify drug and drug-like molecules that inhibit nsp14-nsp10, including the known SARS-CoV-2 major protease (Mpro) inhibitor ebselen and the HIV integrase inhibitor raltegravir, revealing the potential for multifunctional inhibitors in COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Exoribonucleases/metabolism , Genome, Viral/genetics , Genomic Instability , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Exoribonucleases/antagonists & inhibitors , Genome, Viral/drug effects , Genomic Instability/drug effects , Genomic Instability/genetics , HIV Integrase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Isoindoles/pharmacology , Multienzyme Complexes/antagonists & inhibitors , Multienzyme Complexes/metabolism , Organoselenium Compounds/pharmacology , RNA, Viral/biosynthesis , RNA, Viral/genetics , Raltegravir Potassium/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/genetics
2.
Chem Biodivers ; 18(11): e2100674, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1615945

ABSTRACT

Chemical investigation on a Streptomyces sp. strain MS180069 isolated from a sediment sample collected from the South China Sea, yielded the new benzo[f]isoindole-dione alkaloid, bhimamycin J (1). The structure was determined by extensive spectroscopic analysis, including HRMS, 1D, 2D NMR, and X-ray diffraction techniques. A molecular docking study revealed 1 as a new molecular motif that binds with human angiotensin converting enzyme2 (ACE2), recently described as the cell surface receptor responsible for uptake of 2019-CoV-2. Using enzyme assays we confirm that 1 inhibits human ACE2 79.7 % at 25 µg/mL.


Subject(s)
Alkaloids/chemistry , Geologic Sediments/microbiology , Isoindoles/chemistry , Streptomyces/chemistry , Alkaloids/metabolism , Alkaloids/pharmacology , Alkaloids/therapeutic use , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Fungi/drug effects , Gram-Negative Bacteria/drug effects , Gram-Positive Bacteria/drug effects , Humans , Isoindoles/isolation & purification , Isoindoles/metabolism , Isoindoles/pharmacology , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , Molecular Conformation , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Streptomyces/isolation & purification , Streptomyces/metabolism
3.
ChemMedChem ; 17(4): e202100582, 2022 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1540073

ABSTRACT

The reactive organoselenium compound ebselen is being investigated for treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and other diseases. We report structure-activity studies on sulfur analogues of ebselen with the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) main protease (Mpro ), employing turnover and protein-observed mass spectrometry-based assays. The results reveal scope for optimisation of ebselen/ebselen derivative- mediated inhibition of Mpro , particularly with respect to improved selectivity.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Isoindoles/pharmacology , Organoselenium Compounds/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Isoindoles/chemistry , Organoselenium Compounds/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Structure-Activity Relationship
4.
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
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(18)2021 Sep 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1409705

ABSTRACT

The inhibition mechanism of the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 by ebselen (EBS) and its analog with a hydroxyl group at position 2 of the benzisoselenazol-3(2H)-one ring (EBS-OH) was studied by using a density functional level of theory. Preliminary molecular dynamics simulations on the apo form of Mpro were performed taking into account both the hydrogen donor and acceptor natures of the Nδ and Nε of His41, a member of the catalytic dyad. The potential energy surfaces for the formation of the Se-S covalent bond mediated by EBS and EBS-OH on Mpro are discussed in detail. The EBS-OH shows a distinctive behavior with respect to EBS in the formation of the noncovalent complex. Due to the presence of canonical H-bonds and noncanonical ones involving less electronegative atoms, such as sulfur and selenium, the influence on the energy barriers and reaction energy of the Minnesota hybrid meta-GGA functionals M06, M06-2X and M08HX, and the more recent range-separated hybrid functional wB97X were also considered. The knowledge of the inhibition mechanism of Mpro by the small protease inhibitors EBS or EBS-OH can enlarge the possibilities for designing more potent and selective inhibitor-based drugs to be used in combination with other antiviral therapies.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Isoindoles/pharmacology , Organoselenium Compounds/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites/drug effects , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain/drug effects , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Drug Design , Humans , Isoindoles/chemistry , Isoindoles/therapeutic use , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Organoselenium Compounds/chemistry , Organoselenium Compounds/therapeutic use , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
6.
Mol Pharmacol ; 100(2): 155-169, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242189

ABSTRACT

The 14-3-3 proteins constitute a family of adaptor proteins with many binding partners and biological functions, and they are considered promising drug targets in cancer and neuropsychiatry. By screening 1280 small-molecule drugs using differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF), we found 15 compounds that decreased the thermal stability of 14-3-3ζ Among these compounds, ebselen was identified as a covalent, destabilizing ligand of 14-3-3 isoforms ζ, ε, γ, and η Ebselen bonding decreased 14-3-3ζ binding to its partner Ser19-phosphorylated tyrosine hydroxylase. Characterization of site-directed mutants at cysteine residues in 14-3-3ζ (C25, C94, and C189) by DSF and mass spectroscopy revealed covalent modification by ebselen of all cysteines through a selenylsulfide bond. C25 appeared to be the preferential site of ebselen interaction in vitro, whereas modification of C94 was the main determinant for protein destabilization. At therapeutically relevant concentrations, ebselen and ebselen oxide caused decreased 14-3-3 levels in SH-SY5Y cells, accompanied with an increased degradation, most probably by the ubiquitin-dependent proteasome pathway. Moreover, ebselen-treated zebrafish displayed decreased brain 14-3-3 content, a freezing phenotype, and reduced mobility, resembling the effects of lithium, consistent with its proposed action as a safer lithium-mimetic drug. Ebselen has recently emerged as a promising drug candidate in several medical areas, such as cancer, neuropsychiatric disorders, and infectious diseases, including coronavirus disease 2019. Its pleiotropic actions are attributed to antioxidant effects and formation of selenosulfides with critical cysteine residues in proteins. Our work indicates that a destabilization of 14-3-3 may affect the protein interaction networks of this protein family, contributing to the therapeutic potential of ebselen. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT: There is currently great interest in the repurposing of established drugs for new indications and therapeutic targets. This study shows that ebselen, which is a promising drug candidate against cancer, bipolar disorder, and the viral infection coronavirus disease 2019, covalently bonds to cysteine residues in 14-3-3 adaptor proteins, triggering destabilization and increased degradation in cells and intact brain tissue when used in therapeutic concentrations, potentially explaining the behavioral, anti-inflammatory, and antineoplastic effects of this drug.


Subject(s)
14-3-3 Proteins/chemistry , 14-3-3 Proteins/metabolism , Cysteine/genetics , Isoindoles/pharmacology , Organoselenium Compounds/pharmacology , 14-3-3 Proteins/genetics , Animals , Binding Sites/drug effects , Brain/metabolism , Cell Line , Circular Dichroism , Down-Regulation , Female , Humans , Male , Models, Molecular , Mutagenesis, Site-Directed , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Conformation , Protein Stability/drug effects , Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase/metabolism , Zebrafish , Zebrafish Proteins/chemistry , Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism
7.
mSphere ; 6(1)2021 02 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1063056

ABSTRACT

Smallpox, caused by Variola virus (VARV), was eradicated in 1980; however, VARV bioterrorist threats still exist, necessitating readily available therapeutics. Current preparedness activities recognize the importance of oral antivirals and recommend therapeutics with different mechanisms of action. Monkeypox virus (MPXV) is closely related to VARV, causing a highly similar clinical human disease, and can be used as a surrogate for smallpox antiviral testing. The prairie dog MPXV model has been characterized and used to study the efficacy of antipoxvirus therapeutics, including recently approved TPOXX (tecovirimat). Brincidofovir (BCV; CMX001) has shown antiviral activity against double-stranded DNA viruses, including poxviruses. To determine the exposure of BCV following oral administration to prairie dogs, a pharmacokinetics (PK) study was performed. Analysis of BCV plasma concentrations indicated variability, conceivably due to the outbred nature of the animals. To determine BCV efficacy in the MPXV prairie dog model, groups of animals were intranasally challenged with 9 × 105 plaque-forming units (PFU; 90% lethal dose [LD90]) of MPXV on inoculation day 0 (ID0). Animals were divided into groups based on the first day of BCV treatment relative to inoculation day (ID-1, ID0, or ID1). A trend in efficacy was noted dependent upon treatment initiation (57% on ID-1, 43% on ID0, and 29% on ID1) but was lower than demonstrated in other animal models. Analysis of the PK data indicated that BCV plasma exposure (maximum concentration [C max]) and the time of the last quantifiable concentration (AUClast) were lower than in other animal models administered the same doses, indicating that suboptimal BCV exposure may explain the lower protective effect on survival.IMPORTANCE Preparedness activities against highly transmissible viruses with high mortality rates have been highlighted during the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. Smallpox, caused by variola virus (VARV) infection, is highly transmissible, with an estimated 30% mortality. Through an intensive vaccination campaign, smallpox was declared eradicated in 1980, and routine smallpox vaccination of individuals ceased. Today's current population has little/no immunity against VARV. If smallpox were to reemerge, the worldwide results would be devastating. Recent FDA approval of one smallpox antiviral (tecovirimat) was a successful step in biothreat preparedness; however, orthopoxviruses can become resistant to treatment, suggesting the need for multiple therapeutics. Our paper details the efficacy of the investigational smallpox drug brincidofovir in a monkeypox virus (MPXV) animal model. Since brincidofovir has not been tested in vivo against smallpox, studies with the related virus MPXV are critical in understanding whether it would be protective in the event of a smallpox outbreak.


Subject(s)
Cytosine/analogs & derivatives , Monkeypox virus/drug effects , Organophosphonates/pharmacology , Organophosphonates/pharmacokinetics , Smallpox/drug therapy , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Benzamides/pharmacokinetics , Benzamides/pharmacology , Cytosine/pharmacokinetics , Cytosine/pharmacology , Disease Models, Animal , Dogs , Female , Isoindoles/pharmacokinetics , Isoindoles/pharmacology , Male , Variola virus/drug effects
8.
ChemMedChem ; 16(2): 340-354, 2021 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1044678

ABSTRACT

Inhibition of coronavirus (CoV)-encoded papain-like cysteine proteases (PLpro ) represents an attractive strategy to treat infections by these important human pathogens. Herein we report on structure-activity relationships (SAR) of the noncovalent active-site directed inhibitor (R)-5-amino-2-methyl-N-(1-(naphthalen-1-yl)ethyl) benzamide (2 b), which is known to bind into the S3 and S4 pockets of the SARS-CoV PLpro . Moreover, we report the discovery of isoindolines as a new class of potent PLpro inhibitors. The studies also provide a deeper understanding of the binding modes of this inhibitor class. Importantly, the inhibitors were also confirmed to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell culture suggesting that, due to the high structural similarities of the target proteases, inhibitors identified against SARS-CoV PLpro are valuable starting points for the development of new pan-coronaviral inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Benzamides/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Isoindoles/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Benzamides/chemical synthesis , Benzamides/metabolism , Catalytic Domain , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Isoindoles/chemical synthesis , Isoindoles/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Structure , Protein Binding , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
9.
ChemMedChem ; 16(2): 340-354, 2021 01 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-878190

ABSTRACT

Inhibition of coronavirus (CoV)-encoded papain-like cysteine proteases (PLpro ) represents an attractive strategy to treat infections by these important human pathogens. Herein we report on structure-activity relationships (SAR) of the noncovalent active-site directed inhibitor (R)-5-amino-2-methyl-N-(1-(naphthalen-1-yl)ethyl) benzamide (2 b), which is known to bind into the S3 and S4 pockets of the SARS-CoV PLpro . Moreover, we report the discovery of isoindolines as a new class of potent PLpro inhibitors. The studies also provide a deeper understanding of the binding modes of this inhibitor class. Importantly, the inhibitors were also confirmed to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell culture suggesting that, due to the high structural similarities of the target proteases, inhibitors identified against SARS-CoV PLpro are valuable starting points for the development of new pan-coronaviral inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Benzamides/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Isoindoles/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Benzamides/chemical synthesis , Benzamides/metabolism , Catalytic Domain , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Isoindoles/chemical synthesis , Isoindoles/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Structure , Protein Binding , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
10.
Comb Chem High Throughput Screen ; 24(5): 716-728, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-721423

ABSTRACT

AIMS: To predict potential drugs for COVID-19 by using molecular docking for virtual screening of drugs approved for other clinical applications. BACKGROUND: SARS-CoV-2 is the betacoronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. It was listed as a potential global health threat by the WHO due to high mortality, high basic reproduction number, and lack of clinically approved drugs and vaccines. The genome of the virus responsible for COVID-19 has been sequenced. In addition, the three-dimensional structure of the main protease has been determined experimentally. OBJECTIVE: To identify potential drugs that can be repurposed for treatment of COVID-19 by using molecular docking based virtual screening of all approved drugs. METHODS: A list of drugs approved for clinical use was obtained from the SuperDRUG2 database. The structure of the target in the apo form, as well as structures of several target-ligand complexes, were obtained from RCSB PDB. The structure of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro determined from X-ray diffraction data was used as the target. Data regarding drugs in clinical trials for COVID-19 was obtained from clinicaltrials.org. Input for molecular docking based virtual screening was prepared by using Obabel and customized python, bash, and awk scripts. Molecular docking calculations were carried out with Vina and SMINA, and the docked conformations were analyzed and visualized with PLIP, Pymol, and Rasmol. RESULTS: Among the drugs that are being tested in clinical trials for COVID-19, Danoprevir and Darunavir were predicted to have the highest binding affinity for the Main protease (Mpro) target of SARS-CoV-2. Saquinavir and Beclabuvir were identified as the best novel candidates for COVID-19 therapy by using Virtual Screening of drugs approved for other clinical indications. CONCLUSION: Protease inhibitors approved for treatment of other viral diseases have the potential to be repurposed for treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Benzazepines/chemistry , Benzazepines/pharmacology , Cyclopropanes/chemistry , Cyclopropanes/pharmacology , Darunavir/chemistry , Darunavir/pharmacology , Drug Repositioning , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Indoles/chemistry , Indoles/pharmacology , Isoindoles/chemistry , Isoindoles/pharmacology , Lactams, Macrocyclic/chemistry , Lactams, Macrocyclic/pharmacology , Proline/analogs & derivatives , Proline/chemistry , Proline/pharmacology , Saquinavir/chemistry , Saquinavir/pharmacology , Sulfonamides/chemistry , Sulfonamides/pharmacology
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