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2.
Molecules ; 26(20)2021 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470935

ABSTRACT

Excessive host inflammation following infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is associated with severity and mortality in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We recently reported that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein S1 subunit (S1) induces pro-inflammatory responses by activating toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) signaling in macrophages. A standardized extract of Asparagus officinalis stem (EAS) is a unique functional food that elicits anti-photoaging effects by suppressing pro-inflammatory signaling in hydrogen peroxide and ultraviolet B-exposed skin fibroblasts. To elucidate its potential in preventing excessive inflammation in COVID-19, we examined the effects of EAS on pro-inflammatory responses in S1-stimulated macrophages. Murine peritoneal exudate macrophages were co-treated with EAS and S1. Concentrations and mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines were assessed using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and reverse transcription and real-time polymerase chain reaction, respectively. Expression and phosphorylation levels of signaling proteins were analyzed using western blotting and fluorescence immunomicroscopy. EAS significantly attenuated S1-induced secretion of interleukin (IL)-6 in a concentration-dependent manner without reducing cell viability. EAS also markedly suppressed the S1-induced transcription of IL-6 and IL-1ß. However, among the TLR4 signaling proteins, EAS did not affect the degradation of inhibitor κBα, nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-κB p65 subunit, and phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase p54 subunit after S1 exposure. In contrast, EAS significantly suppressed S1-induced phosphorylation of p44/42 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and Akt. Attenuation of S1-induced transcription of IL-6 and IL-1ß by the MAPK kinase inhibitor U0126 was greater than that by the Akt inhibitor perifosine, and the effects were potentiated by simultaneous treatment with both inhibitors. These results suggest that EAS attenuates S1-induced IL-6 and IL-1ß production by suppressing p44/42 MAPK and Akt signaling in macrophages. Therefore, EAS may be beneficial in regulating excessive inflammation in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Asparagus Plant/chemistry , Interleukin-1beta/metabolism , Interleukin-6/metabolism , Macrophages/drug effects , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Animals , Asparagus Plant/metabolism , Butadienes/pharmacology , Cell Survival/drug effects , Interleukin-1beta/genetics , Interleukin-6/genetics , Macrophages/cytology , Macrophages/metabolism , Male , Mice , Mice, Inbred C57BL , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1/antagonists & inhibitors , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 1/metabolism , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3/antagonists & inhibitors , Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase 3/metabolism , Nitriles/pharmacology , Phosphorylation/drug effects , Plant Extracts/chemistry , Plant Stems/chemistry , Plant Stems/metabolism , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/antagonists & inhibitors , Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/pharmacology , Toll-Like Receptor 4/metabolism , Transcription, Genetic/drug effects
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(17)2021 Aug 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374423

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease, caused by severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), rapidly spreading around the world, poses a major threat to the global public health. Herein, we demonstrated the binding mechanism of PF-07321332, α-ketoamide, lopinavir, and ritonavir to the coronavirus 3-chymotrypsin-like-protease (3CLpro) by means of docking and molecular dynamic (MD) simulations. The analysis of MD trajectories of 3CLpro with PF-07321332, α-ketoamide, lopinavir, and ritonavir revealed that 3CLpro-PF-07321332 and 3CLpro-α-ketoamide complexes remained stable compared with 3CLpro-ritonavir and 3CLpro-lopinavir. Investigating the dynamic behavior of ligand-protein interaction, ligands PF-07321332 and α-ketoamide showed stronger bonding via making interactions with catalytic dyad residues His41-Cys145 of 3CLpro. Lopinavir and ritonavir were unable to disrupt the catalytic dyad, as illustrated by increased bond length during the MD simulation. To decipher the ligand binding mode and affinity, ligand interactions with SARS-CoV-2 proteases and binding energy were calculated. The binding energy of the bespoke antiviral PF-07321332 clinical candidate was two times higher than that of α-ketoamide and three times than that of lopinavir and ritonavir. Our study elucidated in detail the binding mechanism of the potent PF-07321332 to 3CLpro along with the low potency of lopinavir and ritonavir due to weak binding affinity demonstrated by the binding energy data. This study will be helpful for the development and optimization of more specific compounds to combat coronavirus disease.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Lactams/pharmacology , Leucine/pharmacology , Nitriles/pharmacology , Proline/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Catalytic Domain/drug effects , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Humans , Lactams/therapeutic use , Leucine/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Nitriles/therapeutic use , Proline/therapeutic use , Ritonavir/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
4.
J Enzyme Inhib Med Chem ; 36(1): 1646-1650, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1320278

ABSTRACT

The chemical structure of PF-07321332, the first orally available Covid-19 clinical candidate, has recently been revealed by Pfizer. No information has been provided about the interaction pattern between PF-07321332 and its biomolecular counterpart, the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro). In the present work, we exploited Supervised Molecular Dynamics (SuMD) simulations to elucidate the key features that characterise the interaction between this drug candidate and the protease, emphasising similarities and differences with other structurally related inhibitors such as Boceprevir and PF-07304814. The structural insights provided by SuMD will hopefully be able to inspire the rational discovery of other potent and selective protease inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Lactams/chemistry , Leucine/chemistry , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Nitriles/chemistry , Proline/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Humans , Lactams/pharmacology , Leucine/pharmacology , Ligands , Nitriles/pharmacology , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Proline/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Software
5.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4068, 2021 07 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1294463

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 attacks various organs, most destructively the lung, and cellular entry requires two host cell surface proteins: ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Downregulation of one or both of these is thus a potential therapeutic approach for COVID-19. TMPRSS2 is a known target of the androgen receptor, a ligand-activated transcription factor; androgen receptor activation increases TMPRSS2 levels in various tissues, most notably prostate. We show here that treatment with the antiandrogen enzalutamide-a well-tolerated drug widely used in advanced prostate cancer-reduces TMPRSS2 levels in human lung cells and in mouse lung. Importantly, antiandrogens significantly reduced SARS-CoV-2 entry and infection in lung cells. In support of this experimental data, analysis of existing datasets shows striking co-expression of AR and TMPRSS2, including in specific lung cell types targeted by SARS-CoV-2. Together, the data presented provides strong evidence to support clinical trials to assess the efficacy of antiandrogens as a treatment option for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Androgen Antagonists/pharmacology , Benzamides/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Nitriles/pharmacology , Phenylthiohydantoin/pharmacology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemical synthesis , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Down-Regulation/drug effects , Female , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Male , Mice , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics
6.
Biochem J ; 478(13): 2481-2497, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1289949

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented itself as one of the most critical public health challenges of the century, with SARS-CoV-2 being the third member of the Coronaviridae family to cause a fatal disease in humans. There is currently only one antiviral compound, remdesivir, that can be used for the treatment of COVID-19. To identify additional potential therapeutics, we investigated the enzymatic proteins encoded in the SARS-CoV-2 genome. In this study, we focussed on the viral RNA cap methyltransferases, which play key roles in enabling viral protein translation and facilitating viral escape from the immune system. We expressed and purified both the guanine-N7 methyltransferase nsp14, and the nsp16 2'-O-methyltransferase with its activating cofactor, nsp10. We performed an in vitro high-throughput screen for inhibitors of nsp14 using a custom compound library of over 5000 pharmaceutical compounds that have previously been characterised in either clinical or basic research. We identified four compounds as potential inhibitors of nsp14, all of which also showed antiviral capacity in a cell-based model of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Three of the four compounds also exhibited synergistic effects on viral replication with remdesivir.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Exoribonucleases/antagonists & inhibitors , Methyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , RNA Caps/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Chlorobenzenes/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Enzyme Assays , Exoribonucleases/genetics , Exoribonucleases/isolation & purification , Exoribonucleases/metabolism , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Indazoles/pharmacology , Indenes/pharmacology , Indoles/pharmacology , Methyltransferases/genetics , Methyltransferases/isolation & purification , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Nitriles/pharmacology , Phenothiazines/pharmacology , Purines/pharmacology , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Substrate Specificity , Trifluperidol/pharmacology , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/isolation & purification , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/isolation & purification , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism
7.
Eur J Pharmacol ; 906: 174233, 2021 Sep 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260717

ABSTRACT

Dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) is rate-limiting enzyme in biosynthesis of pyrimidone which catalyzes the oxidation of dihydro-orotate to orotate. Orotate is utilized in the biosynthesis of uridine-monophosphate. DHODH inhibitors have shown promise as antiviral agent against Cytomegalovirus, Ebola, Influenza, Epstein Barr and Picornavirus. Anti-SARS-CoV-2 action of DHODH inhibitors are also coming up. In this review, we have reviewed the safety and efficacy of approved DHODH inhibitors (leflunomide and teriflunomide) against COVID-19. In target-centered in silico studies, leflunomide showed favorable binding to active site of MPro and spike: ACE2 interface. In artificial-intelligence/machine-learning based studies, leflunomide was among the top 50 ligands targeting spike: ACE2 interaction. Leflunomide is also found to interact with differentially regulated pathways [identified by KEGG (Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes) and reactome pathway analysis of host transcriptome data] in cogena based drug-repurposing studies. Based on GSEA (gene set enrichment analysis), leflunomide was found to target pathways enriched in COVID-19. In vitro, both leflunomide (EC50 41.49 ± 8.8 µmol/L) and teriflunomide (EC50 26 µmol/L) showed SARS-CoV-2 inhibition. In clinical studies, leflunomide showed significant benefit in terms of decreasing the duration of viral shredding, duration of hospital stay and severity of infection. However, no advantage was seen while combining leflunomide and IFN alpha-2a among patients with prolonged post symptomatic viral shredding. Common adverse effects of leflunomide were hyperlipidemia, leucopenia, neutropenia and liver-function alteration. Leflunomide/teriflunomide may serve as an agent of importance to achieve faster virological clearance in COVID-19, however, findings needs to be validated in bigger sized placebo controlled studies.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Crotonates/pharmacology , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Hydroxybutyrates/pharmacology , Leflunomide/pharmacology , Nitriles/pharmacology , Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-CH Group Donors/antagonists & inhibitors , Toluidines/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Crotonates/adverse effects , Crotonates/therapeutic use , Drug Repositioning , Enzyme Inhibitors/adverse effects , Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Humans , Hydroxybutyrates/adverse effects , Hydroxybutyrates/therapeutic use , Leflunomide/adverse effects , Leflunomide/therapeutic use , Nitriles/adverse effects , Nitriles/therapeutic use , Toluidines/adverse effects , Toluidines/therapeutic use
8.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 11130, 2021 05 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1246392

ABSTRACT

The sex discordance in COVID-19 outcomes has been widely recognized, with males generally faring worse than females and a potential link to sex steroids. A plausible mechanism is androgen-induced expression of TMPRSS2 and/or ACE2 in pulmonary tissues that may increase susceptibility or severity in males. This hypothesis is the subject of several clinical trials of anti-androgen therapies around the world. Here, we investigated the sex-associated TMPRSS2 and ACE2 expression in human and mouse lungs and interrogated the possibility of pharmacologic modification of their expression with anti-androgens. We found no evidence for increased TMPRSS2 expression in the lungs of males compared to females in humans or mice. Furthermore, in male mice, treatment with the androgen receptor antagonist enzalutamide did not decrease pulmonary TMPRSS2. On the other hand, ACE2 and AR expression was sexually dimorphic and higher in males than females. ACE2 was moderately suppressible with enzalutamide administration. Our work suggests that sex differences in COVID-19 outcomes attributable to viral entry are independent of TMPRSS2. Modest changes in ACE2 could account for some of the sex discordance.


Subject(s)
Angiogenesis Inhibitors/pharmacology , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Lung/drug effects , Receptors, Androgen/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Androgen Receptor Antagonists/pharmacology , Androgens , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Animals , Benzamides/pharmacology , COVID-19/genetics , Cell Line, Tumor , Chromatin Immunoprecipitation Sequencing , Female , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Gene Expression Regulation/genetics , Humans , Immunohistochemistry , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Male , Mice , Nitriles/pharmacology , Phenylthiohydantoin/pharmacology , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Smokers
9.
Sci Rep ; 10(1): 21448, 2020 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1242034

ABSTRACT

The in vitro interactions of isavuconazole with colistin were evaluated against 15 clinical Candida auris isolates by a microdilution checkerboard technique based on the EUCAST reference method for antifungal susceptibility testing and by agar diffusion using isavuconazole gradient concentration strips with or without colistin incorporated RPMI agar. Interpretation of the checkerboard results was done by the fractional inhibitory concentration index and by response surface analysis based on the Bliss model. By checkerboard, combination was synergistic for 93% of the isolates when interpretation of the data was done by fractional inhibitory concentration index, and for 80% of the isolates by response surface analysis interpretation. By agar diffusion test, although all MICs in combination decreased compared to isavuconazole alone, only 13% of the isolates met the definition of synergy. Essential agreement of EUCAST and gradient concentration strip MICs at +/- 2 log2 dilutions was 93.3%. Antagonistic interactions were never observed for any technique or interpretation model used.


Subject(s)
Antifungal Agents/pharmacology , Candida/drug effects , Colistin/pharmacology , Nitriles/pharmacology , Pyridines/pharmacology , Triazoles/pharmacology , Agar , Candida/isolation & purification , Candidiasis/microbiology , Colony Count, Microbial , Drug Synergism , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests
10.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 60(18): 10423-10429, 2021 04 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1114156

ABSTRACT

The main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Mpro ), the causative agent of COVID-19, constitutes a significant drug target. A new fluorogenic substrate was kinetically compared to an internally quenched fluorescent peptide and shown to be ideally suitable for high throughput screening with recombinantly expressed Mpro . Two classes of protease inhibitors, azanitriles and pyridyl esters, were identified, optimized and subjected to in-depth biochemical characterization. Tailored peptides equipped with the unique azanitrile warhead exhibited concomitant inhibition of Mpro and cathepsin L, a protease relevant for viral cell entry. Pyridyl indole esters were analyzed by a positional scanning. Our focused approach towards Mpro inhibitors proved to be superior to virtual screening. With two irreversible inhibitors, azanitrile 8 (kinac /Ki =37 500 m-1 s-1 , Ki =24.0 nm) and pyridyl ester 17 (kinac /Ki =29 100 m-1 s-1 , Ki =10.0 nm), promising drug candidates for further development have been discovered.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Nitriles/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Drug Design , Drug Discovery , HEK293 Cells , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nitriles/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Pyridines/chemistry , Pyridines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization/drug effects
11.
J Infect Public Health ; 13(12): 1856-1861, 2020 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023653

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Outbreak of COVID-19 has been recognized as a global health concern since it causes high rates of morbidity and mortality. No specific antiviral drugs are available for the treatment of COVID-19 till date. Drug repurposing strategy helps to find out the drugs for COVID-19 treatment from existing FDA approved antiviral drugs. In this study, FDA approved small molecule antiviral drugs were repurposed against the major viral proteins of SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: The 3D structures of FDA approved small molecule antiviral drugs were retrieved from PubChem. Virtual screening was performed to find out the lead antiviral drug molecules against main protease (Mpro) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) using COVID-19 Docking Server. Furthermore, lead molecules were individually docked against protein targets using AutoDock 4.0.1 software and their drug-likeness and ADMET properties were evaluated. RESULTS: Out of 65 FDA approved small molecule antiviral drugs screened, Raltegravir showed highest interaction energy value of -9 kcal/mol against Mpro of SARS-CoV-2 and Indinavir, Tipranavir, and Pibrentasvir exhibited a binding energy value of ≥-8 kcal/mol. Similarly Indinavir showed the highest binding energy of -11.5 kcal/mol against the target protein RdRp and Dolutegravir, Elbasvir, Tipranavir, Taltegravir, Grazoprevir, Daclatasvir, Glecaprevir, Ledipasvir, Pibrentasvir and Velpatasvir showed a binding energy value in range from -8 to -11.2 kcal/mol. The antiviral drugs Raltegravir, Indinavir, Tipranavir, Dolutegravir, and Etravirine also exhibited good bioavailability and drug-likeness properties. CONCLUSION: This study suggests that the screened small molecule antiviral drugs Raltegravir, Indinavir, Tipranavir, Dolutegravir, and Etravirine could serve as potential drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 with further validation studies.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Drug Repositioning , Heterocyclic Compounds, 3-Ring/pharmacology , Humans , Indinavir/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nitriles/pharmacology , Oxazines/pharmacology , Piperazines/pharmacology , Pyridines/pharmacology , Pyridones/pharmacology , Pyrimidines/pharmacology , Pyrones/pharmacology , Raltegravir Potassium/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Sulfonamides/pharmacology
12.
J Mol Graph Model ; 101: 107730, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-863411

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) is an attractive target towards discovery of drugs to treat COVID-19 because of its key role in virus replication. The atomic structure of Mpro in complex with an α-ketoamide inhibitor (Lig13b) is available (PDB ID:6Y2G). Using 6Y2G and the prior knowledge that protease inhibitors could eradicate COVID-19, we designed a computational study aimed at identifying FDA-approved drugs that could interact with Mpro. We searched the DrugBank and PubChem for analogs and built a virtual library containing ∼33,000 conformers. Using high-throughput virtual screening and ligand docking, we identified Isavuconazonium, a ketoamide inhibitor (α-KI) and Pentagastrin as the top three molecules (Lig13b as the benchmark) based on docking energy. The ΔGbind of Lig13b, Isavuconazonium, α-KI, Pentagastrin was -28.1, -45.7, -44.7, -34.8 kcal/mol, respectively. Molecular dynamics simulation revealed that these ligands are stable within the Mpro active site. Binding of these ligands is driven by a variety of non-bonded interaction, including polar bonds, H-bonds, van der Waals and salt bridges. The overall conformational dynamics of the complexed-Mpro was slightly altered relative to apo-Mpro. This study demonstrates that three distinct classes molecules, Isavuconazonium (triazole), α-KI (ketoamide) and Pentagastrin (peptide) could serve as potential drugs to treat patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Nitriles/pharmacology , Pentagastrin/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Pyridines/pharmacology , Triazoles/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Catalytic Domain , Computer Simulation , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Databases, Pharmaceutical , Drug Approval , Drug Discovery , Drug Repositioning , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , Ligands , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Nitriles/chemistry , Pentagastrin/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Pyridines/chemistry , Triazoles/chemistry , United States , United States Food and Drug Administration , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
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