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1.
Drug Des Devel Ther ; 16: 1067-1082, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1808738

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) currently poses a threat to human health. 3C-like proteinase (3CLpro) plays an important role in the viral life cycle. Hence, it is considered an attractive antiviral target protein. Whole-genome sequencing showed that the sequence homology between SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro and SARS-CoV 3CLpro is 96.08%, with high similarity in the substrate-binding region. Thus, assessing peptidomimetic inhibitors of SARS-CoV 3CLpro could accelerate the development of peptidomimetic inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro. Accordingly, we herein discuss progress on SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro peptidomimetic inhibitors. Inflammation plays a major role in the pathophysiological process of COVID-19. Small-molecule compounds targeting 3CLpro with both antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects are also briefly discussed in this paper.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Peptidomimetics , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Humans , Peptide Hydrolases , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
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.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2880-2904, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1705973

ABSTRACT

Starting from the MLPCN probe compound ML300, a structure-based optimization campaign was initiated against the recent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) main protease (3CLpro). X-ray structures of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro enzymes in complex with multiple ML300-based inhibitors, including the original probe ML300, were obtained and proved instrumental in guiding chemistry toward probe compound 41 (CCF0058981). The disclosed inhibitors utilize a noncovalent mode of action and complex in a noncanonical binding mode not observed by peptidic 3CLpro inhibitors. In vitro DMPK profiling highlights key areas where further optimization in the series is required to obtain useful in vivo probes. Antiviral activity was established using a SARS-CoV-2-infected Vero E6 cell viability assay and a plaque formation assay. Compound 41 demonstrates nanomolar activity in these respective assays, comparable in potency to remdesivir. These findings have implications for antiviral development to combat current and future SARS-like zoonotic coronavirus outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/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 , Glutamine/chemistry , Glutamine/pharmacology , Humans , Ketones/chemistry , Ketones/pharmacology , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Models, Molecular , Molecular Structure , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
4.
Chem Commun (Camb) ; 58(11): 1804-1807, 2022 Feb 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1639537

ABSTRACT

We present the finding of a dimeric ACE2 peptide mimetic designed through side chain cross-linking and covalent dimerization. It has a binding affinity of 16 nM for the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD, and effectively inhibits the SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus in Huh7-hACE2 cells with an IC50 of 190 nM and neutralizes the authentic SARS-CoV-2 in Caco2 cells with an IC50 of 2.4 µM. Our study should provide a new insight for the optimization of peptide-based anti-SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Peptide Fragments/pharmacology , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Cell Line, Tumor , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Peptide Fragments/chemical synthesis , Peptide Fragments/metabolism , Peptidomimetics/chemical synthesis , Peptidomimetics/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(21)2021 Oct 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488616

ABSTRACT

After almost two years from its first evidence, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to afflict people worldwide, highlighting the need for multiple antiviral strategies. SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro/3CLpro) is a recognized promising target for the development of effective drugs. Because single target inhibition might not be sufficient to block SARS-CoV-2 infection and replication, multi enzymatic-based therapies may provide a better strategy. Here we present a structural and biochemical characterization of the binding mode of MG-132 to both the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, and to the human Cathepsin-L, suggesting thus an interesting scaffold for the development of double-inhibitors. X-ray diffraction data show that MG-132 well fits into the Mpro active site, forming a covalent bond with Cys145 independently from reducing agents and crystallization conditions. Docking of MG-132 into Cathepsin-L well-matches with a covalent binding to the catalytic cysteine. Accordingly, MG-132 inhibits Cathepsin-L with nanomolar potency and reversibly inhibits Mpro with micromolar potency, but with a prolonged residency time. We compared the apo and MG-132-inhibited structures of Mpro solved in different space groups and we identified a new apo structure that features several similarities with the inhibited ones, offering interesting perspectives for future drug design and in silico efforts.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Cathepsin L/drug effects , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/drug effects , Leupeptins/chemistry , Leupeptins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Catalytic Domain/drug effects , Cathepsin L/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Drug Design , Drug Discovery , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptidomimetics , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Virus Replication/drug effects , X-Ray Diffraction
6.
Chem Commun (Camb) ; 57(82): 10771-10774, 2021 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1442812

ABSTRACT

We have established a new protocol for detecting severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) using a peptidomimetic to covalently detect a viral marker protease.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Testing , COVID-19/diagnosis , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteases/isolation & purification , Biological Assay/economics , Biosensing Techniques/economics , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Testing/economics , Cost Savings , Electrochemical Techniques/economics , Humans , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , Tyrosine/chemistry , Viral Proteases/chemistry
7.
Bioorg Med Chem Lett ; 50: 128333, 2021 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1363893

ABSTRACT

Specific anti-coronaviral drugs complementing available vaccines are urgently needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Given its high conservation across the betacoronavirus genus and dissimilarity to human proteases, the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) is an attractive drug target. SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors have been developed at unprecedented speed, most of them being substrate-derived peptidomimetics with cysteine-modifying warheads. In this study, Mpro has proven resistant towards the identification of high-affinity short substrate-derived peptides and peptidomimetics without warheads. 20 cyclic and linear substrate analogues bearing natural and unnatural residues, which were predicted by computational modelling to bind with high affinity and designed to establish structure-activity relationships, displayed no inhibitory activity at concentrations as high as 100 µM. Only a long linear peptide covering residues P6 to P5' displayed moderate inhibition (Ki = 57 µM). Our detailed findings will inform current and future drug discovery campaigns targeting Mpro.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine/chemistry , Cysteine/metabolism , Humans , Lactams/chemistry , Lactams/metabolism , Leucine/chemistry , Leucine/metabolism , Nitriles/chemistry , Nitriles/metabolism , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/metabolism , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , Peptidomimetics/metabolism , Proline/chemistry , Proline/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Structure-Activity Relationship , Substrate Specificity
8.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2880-2904, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1340972

ABSTRACT

Starting from the MLPCN probe compound ML300, a structure-based optimization campaign was initiated against the recent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) main protease (3CLpro). X-ray structures of SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro enzymes in complex with multiple ML300-based inhibitors, including the original probe ML300, were obtained and proved instrumental in guiding chemistry toward probe compound 41 (CCF0058981). The disclosed inhibitors utilize a noncovalent mode of action and complex in a noncanonical binding mode not observed by peptidic 3CLpro inhibitors. In vitro DMPK profiling highlights key areas where further optimization in the series is required to obtain useful in vivo probes. Antiviral activity was established using a SARS-CoV-2-infected Vero E6 cell viability assay and a plaque formation assay. Compound 41 demonstrates nanomolar activity in these respective assays, comparable in potency to remdesivir. These findings have implications for antiviral development to combat current and future SARS-like zoonotic coronavirus outbreaks.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/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 , Glutamine/chemistry , Glutamine/pharmacology , Humans , Ketones/chemistry , Ketones/pharmacology , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Models, Molecular , Molecular Structure , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
9.
Bioorg Med Chem ; 46: 116301, 2021 09 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1333256

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) is a severe febrile respiratory disease caused by the beta genus of human coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV. Last year, 2019-n-CoV (COVID-19) was a global threat for everyone caused by the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2. 3CLpro, chymotrypsin-like protease, is a major cysteine protease that substantially contributes throughout the viral life cycle of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. It is a prospective target for the development of SARS-CoV inhibitors by applying a repurposing strategy. This review focuses on a detailed overview of the chemical synthesis and computational chemistry perspectives of peptidomimetic inhibitors (PIs) and small-molecule inhibitors (SMIs) targeting viral proteinase discovered from 2004 to 2020. The PIs and SMIs are one of the primary therapeutic inventions for SARS-CoV. The journey of different analogues towards the evolution of SARS-CoV 3CLpro inhibitors and complete synthetic preparation of nineteen derivatives of PIs and ten derivatives of SMIs and their computational chemistry perspectives were reviewed. From each class of derivatives, we have identified and highlighted the most compelling PIs and SMIs for SARS-CoV 3CLpro. The protein-ligand interaction of 29 inhibitors were also studied that involved with the 3CLpro inhibition, and the frequent amino acid residues of the protease were also analyzed that are responsible for the interactions with the inhibitors. This work will provide an initiative to encourage further research for the development of effective and drug-like 3CLpro inhibitors against coronaviruses in the near future.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , SARS Virus/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Cell Line, Tumor , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Humans , Peptidomimetics/chemical synthesis , SARS Virus/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
10.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2926-2939, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327181

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, has been identified as the causative agent for the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 3CL protease (3CLpro) plays a pivotal role in the processing of viral polyproteins. We report peptidomimetic compounds with a unique benzothiazolyl ketone as a warhead group, which display potent activity against SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro. The most potent inhibitor YH-53 can strongly block the SARS-CoV-2 replication. X-ray structural analysis revealed that YH-53 establishes multiple hydrogen bond interactions with backbone amino acids and a covalent bond with the active site of 3CLpro. Further results from computational and experimental studies, including an in vitro absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion profile, in vivo pharmacokinetics, and metabolic analysis of YH-53 suggest that it has a high potential as a lead candidate to compete with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Ketones/pharmacology , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/isolation & purification , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Humans , Ketones/chemistry , Male , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Microsomes, Liver/chemistry , Microsomes, Liver/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Molecular Conformation , Peptidomimetics/chemical synthesis , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , Rats , Rats, Wistar , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Vero Cells
11.
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
12.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2905-2925, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1303733

ABSTRACT

Recurring coronavirus outbreaks, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic, establish a necessity to develop direct-acting antivirals that can be readily administered and are active against a broad spectrum of coronaviruses. Described in this Article are novel α-acyloxymethylketone warhead peptidomimetic compounds with a six-membered lactam glutamine mimic in P1. Compounds with potent SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease and in vitro viral replication inhibition were identified with low cytotoxicity and good plasma and glutathione stability. Compounds 15e, 15h, and 15l displayed selectivity for SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease over CatB and CatS and superior in vitro SARS-CoV-2 antiviral replication inhibition compared with the reported peptidomimetic inhibitors with other warheads. The cocrystallization of 15l with SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease confirmed the formation of a covalent adduct. α-Acyloxymethylketone compounds also exhibited antiviral activity against an alphacoronavirus and non-SARS betacoronavirus strains with similar potency and a better selectivity index than remdesivir. These findings demonstrate the potential of the substituted heteroaromatic and aliphatic α-acyloxymethylketone warheads as coronavirus inhibitors, and the described results provide a basis for further optimization.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Glutamine/chemistry , Glutamine/pharmacology , Humans , Ketones/chemistry , Ketones/pharmacology , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Structure , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Virus Replication/drug effects
13.
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
14.
Cell Rep ; 35(13): 109305, 2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1260679

ABSTRACT

The human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-bound viral antigens serve as an immunological signature that can be selectively recognized by T cells. As viruses evolve by acquiring mutations, it is essential to identify a range of presented viral antigens. Using HLA peptidomics, we are able to identify severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)-derived peptides presented by highly prevalent HLA class I (HLA-I) molecules by using infected cells as well as overexpression of SARS-CoV-2 genes. We find 26 HLA-I peptides and 36 HLA class II (HLA-II) peptides. Among the identified peptides, some are shared between different cells and some are derived from out-of-frame open reading frames (ORFs). Seven of these peptides were previously shown to be immunogenic, and we identify two additional immunoreactive peptides by using HLA multimer staining. These results may aid the development of the next generation of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines based on presented viral-specific antigens that span several of the viral genes.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Peptides/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antigen Presentation , Antigens, Viral/metabolism , COVID-19 Vaccines , Cell Line , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , HEK293 Cells , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/immunology , Histocompatibility Antigens Class II/immunology , Humans , Peptidomimetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , T-Lymphocytes
15.
Biomolecules ; 11(4)2021 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1194605

ABSTRACT

The uncontrolled spread of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 during 2020-2021 is one of the most devastating events in the history, with remarkable impacts on the health, economic systems, and habits of the entire world population. While some effective vaccines are nowadays approved and extensively administered, the long-term efficacy and safety of this line of intervention is constantly under debate as coronaviruses rapidly mutate and several SARS-CoV-2 variants have been already identified worldwide. Then, the WHO's main recommendations to prevent severe clinical complications by COVID-19 are still essentially based on social distancing and limitation of human interactions, therefore the identification of new target-based drugs became a priority. Several strategies have been proposed to counteract such viral infection, including the repurposing of FDA already approved for the treatment of HIV, HCV, and EBOLA, inter alia. Among the evaluated compounds, inhibitors of the main protease of the coronavirus (Mpro) are becoming more and more promising candidates. Mpro holds a pivotal role during the onset of the infection and its function is intimately related with the beginning of viral replication. The interruption of its catalytic activity could represent a relevant strategy for the development of anti-coronavirus drugs. SARS-CoV-2 Mpro is a peculiar cysteine protease of the coronavirus family, responsible for the replication and infectivity of the parasite. This review offers a detailed analysis of the repurposed drugs and the newly synthesized molecules developed to date for the treatment of COVID-19 which share the common feature of targeting SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, as well as a brief overview of the main enzymatic and cell-based assays to efficaciously screen such compounds.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Drug Discovery , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry
16.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2794-2808, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1192017

ABSTRACT

A novel series of peptidomimetic aldehydes was designed and synthesized to target 3C protease (3Cpro) of enterovirus 71 (EV71). Most of the compounds exhibited high antiviral activity, and among them, compound 18p demonstrated potent enzyme inhibitory activity and broad-spectrum antiviral activity on a panel of enteroviruses and rhinoviruses. The crystal structure of EV71 3Cpro in complex with 18p determined at a resolution of 1.2 Å revealed that 18p covalently linked to the catalytic Cys147 with an aldehyde group. In addition, these compounds also exhibited good inhibitory activity against the 3CLpro and the replication of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), especially compound 18p (IC50 = 0.034 µM, EC50 = 0.29 µM). According to our previous work, these compounds have no reasons for concern regarding acute toxicity. Compared with AG7088, compound 18p also exhibited good pharmacokinetic properties and more potent anticoronavirus activity, making it an excellent lead for further development.


Subject(s)
Aldehydes/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Enterovirus/drug effects , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Aldehydes/chemical synthesis , Aldehydes/chemistry , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/isolation & purification , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Drug Design , Humans , Male , Mice , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Models, Molecular , Molecular Structure , Peptidomimetics/chemical synthesis , Peptidomimetics/chemistry , Structure-Activity Relationship
17.
Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther ; 19(10): 1205-1217, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1180416

ABSTRACT

Introduction: There are currently no specific drugs and universal vaccines for Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), hence urgent effective measures are needed to discover and develop therapeutic agents. Applying peptide therapeutics and their related compounds is a promising strategy to achieve this goal. This review is written based on the literature search using several databases, previous studies, scientific reports, our current knowledge about the antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), and our personal analyses on the potential of the antiviral peptides for the treatment of COVID-19.Areas covered: In this review, we begin with a brief description of SARS-CoV2 followed by a comprehensive description of antiviral peptides (AVPs) including natural and synthetic AMPs or AVPs and peptidomimetics. Subsequently, the structural features, mechanisms of action, limitations, and therapeutic applications of these peptides are explained.Expert opinion: Regarding the lack and the limitations of drugs against COVID-19, AMPs, AVPs, and other peptide-like compounds such as peptidomimetics have captured the attention of researchers due to their potential antiviral activities. Some of these compounds comprise unique properties and have demonstrated the potential to fight SARS-CoV2, particularly melittin, lactoferrin, enfuvirtide, and rupintrivir that have the potential to enter animal and clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Antimicrobial Cationic Peptides/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cathelicidins/therapeutic use , Computer Simulation , Defensins/therapeutic use , Hepcidins/therapeutic use , Humans , Lactoferrin/therapeutic use , Melitten/therapeutic use , Molecular Structure , Peptidomimetics/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Structures
18.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 23(11): 6746-6757, 2021 Mar 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1132112

ABSTRACT

COVID-19, the disease caused by the newly discovered coronavirus-SARS-CoV-2, has created a global health, social, and economic crisis. As of mid-January 2021, there are over 90 million confirmed cases and more than 2 million reported deaths due to COVID-19. Currently, there are very limited therapeutics for the treatment or prevention of COVID-19. For this reason, it is important to find drug targets that will lead to the development of safe and effective therapeutics against the disease. The main protease (Mpro) of the virus is an attractive target for the development of effective antiviral therapeutics because it is required for proteolytic cleavage of viral polyproteins. Furthermore, the Mpro has no human homologues, so drugs designed to bind to this target directly have less risk for off-target effects. Recently, several high-resolution crystallographic structures of the Mpro in complex with inhibitors have been determined-to guide drug development and to spur efforts in structure-based drug design. One of the primary objectives of modern structure-based drug design is the accurate prediction of receptor-ligand binding affinities for rational drug design and discovery. Here, we perform rigorous alchemical absolute binding free energy calculations and QM/MM calculations to give insight into the total binding energy of two recently crystallized inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, namely, N3 and α-ketoamide 13b. The total binding energy consists of both covalent and non-covalent binding components since both compounds are covalent inhibitors of the Mpro. Our results indicate that the covalent and non-covalent binding free energy contributions of both inhibitors to the Mpro target differ significantly. The N3 inhibitor has more favourable non-covalent interactions, particularly hydrogen bonding, in the binding site of the Mpro than the α-ketoamide inhibitor. Also, the Gibbs energy of reaction for the Mpro-N3 covalent adduct is greater than the Gibbs reaction energy for the Mpro-α-ketoamide covalent adduct. These differences in the covalent and non-covalent binding free energy contributions for both inhibitors could be a plausible explanation for their in vitro differences in antiviral activity. Our findings are consistent with the reversible and irreversible character of both inhibitors as reported by experiment and highlight the importance of both covalent and non-covalent binding free energy contributions to the absolute binding affinity of a covalent inhibitor towards its target. This information could prove useful in the rational design, discovery, and evaluation of potent SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors for targeted antiviral therapy.


Subject(s)
Peptidomimetics/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Matrix Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Amides/chemistry , Amides/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Drug Design , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Kinetics , Ligands , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptidomimetics/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Quantum Theory , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thermodynamics , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism
19.
Viruses ; 13(2)2021 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1128060

ABSTRACT

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the newly emergent causative agent of coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19), has resulted in more than two million deaths worldwide since it was first detected in 2019. There is a critical global need for therapeutic intervention strategies that can be deployed to safely treat COVID-19 disease and reduce associated morbidity and mortality. Increasing evidence shows that both natural and synthetic antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), also referred to as Host Defense Proteins/Peptides (HDPs), can inhibit SARS-CoV-2, paving the way for the potential clinical use of these molecules as therapeutic options. In this manuscript, we describe the potent antiviral activity exerted by brilacidin-a de novo designed synthetic small molecule that captures the biological properties of HDPs-on SARS-CoV-2 in a human lung cell line (Calu-3) and a monkey cell line (Vero). These data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 inhibition in these cell culture models is likely to be a result of the impact of brilacidin on viral entry and its disruption of viral integrity. Brilacidin demonstrated synergistic antiviral activity when combined with remdesivir. Collectively, our data demonstrate that brilacidin exerts potent inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 against different strains of the virus in cell culture.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Guanidines/pharmacology , Pyrimidines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Cell Culture Techniques , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Defensins/pharmacology , Humans , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects
20.
Chem Commun (Camb) ; 57(26): 3283-3286, 2021 Apr 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1112012

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein RBD interacts with the hACE2 receptor to initiate cell entry and infection. We set out to develop lactam-based i,i + 4 stapled hACE2 peptides targeting SARS-CoV-2. In vitro screening demonstrates the inhibition of the Spike protein RBD-hACE2 complex formation by the hACE221-55A36K-F40E stapled peptide (IC50: 3.6 µM, Kd: 2.1 µM), suggesting that hACE2 peptidomimetics could form the basis for the development of anti-COVID-19 therapeutics.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Peptides/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Peptides/chemistry , Peptidomimetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry
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