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1.
Virology ; 570: 18-28, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1839384

ABSTRACT

The challenge continues globally triggered by the absence of an approved antiviral drug against COVID-19 virus infection necessitating global concerted efforts of scientists. Nature still provides a renewable source for drugs used to solve many health problems. The aim of this work is to provide new candidates from natural origin to overcome COVID-19 pandemic. A virtual screening of the natural compounds database (47,645 compounds) using structure-based pharmacophore model and molecular docking simulations reported eight hits from natural origin against SARS-CoV-2 main proteinase (Mpro) enzyme. The successful candidates were of terpenoidal nature including taxusabietane, Isoadenolin A & C, Xerophilusin B, Excisanin H, Macrocalin B and ponicidin, phytoconstituents isolated from family Lamiaceae and sharing a common ent-kaurane nucleus, were found to be the most successful candidates. This study suggested that the diterpene nucleus has a clear positive contribution which can represent a new opportunity in the development of SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Biological Products , COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Biological Products/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Peptide Hydrolases , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
2.
J Mol Model ; 28(6): 144, 2022 May 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1838345

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has recently grown to be pandemic all around the world. Therefore, efforts to find effective drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 are needed to improve humans' life quality and survival. Since the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 plays a crucial role in viral replication and transcription, the inhibition of this enzyme could be a promising and challenging therapeutic target to fight COVID-19. The present study aims to identify alkaloid compounds as new potential inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro by the hybrid modeling analyses. The docking-based virtual screening method assessed a collection of alkaloids extracted from over 500 medicinal plants and sponges. In order to validate the docking process, classical molecular dynamic simulations were applied on selected ligands, and the calculation of binding free energy was performed. Based on the proper interactions with the active site of the SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, low binding energy, few side effects, and the availability in the medicinal market, two indole alkaloids were found to be potential lead compounds that may serve as therapeutic options to treat COVID-19. This study paves the way for developing natural alkaloids as stronger potent antiviral agents against the SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Alkaloids , COVID-19 , Alkaloids/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Indole Alkaloids , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2
3.
J Phys Condens Matter ; 34(29)2022 May 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1830918

ABSTRACT

Herein, we report a computational investigation of the binding affinity of dexamethasone, betamethasone, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to SARS-CoV-2 main protease using molecular and quantum mechanics as well as molecular docking methodologies. We aim to provide information on the anti-COVID-19 mechanism of the abovementioned potential drugs against SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Hence, the 6w63 structure of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease was selected as potential target site for the docking analysis. The study includes an initial conformational analysis of dexamethasone, betamethasone, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine. For the most stable conformers, a spectroscopic analysis has been carried out. In addition, global and local reactivity indexes have been calculated to predict the chemical reactivity of these molecules. The molecular docking results indicate that dexamethasone and betamethasone have a higher affinity than chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine for their theoretical 6w63 target. Additionally, dexamethasone and betamethasone show a hydrogen bond with the His41 residue of the 6w63 protein, while the interaction between chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine with this amino acid is weak. Thus, we confirm the importance of His41 amino acid as a target to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 Mpro activity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Amino Acids , Betamethasone , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chloroquine/chemistry , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Dexamethasone/pharmacology , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/chemistry , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology
4.
J Med Chem ; 65(9): 6496-6498, 2022 May 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1829959

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has highlighted the ability of scientists to quickly react to the immense challenge presented to the world. The orally available 3CL protease inhibitor S-217622 is currently progressing through clinical trials and its discovery via structure-based drug design, screening and optimization by Shionogi and Hokkaido University is presented here.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Humans , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use
5.
J Med Chem ; 65(9): 6499-6512, 2022 May 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821565

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has resulted in millions of deaths and threatens public health and safety. Despite the rapid global spread of COVID-19 vaccines, effective oral antiviral drugs are urgently needed. Here, we describe the discovery of S-217622, the first oral noncovalent, nonpeptidic SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease inhibitor clinical candidate. S-217622 was discovered via virtual screening followed by biological screening of an in-house compound library, and optimization of the hit compound using a structure-based drug design strategy. S-217622 exhibited antiviral activity in vitro against current outbreaking SARS-CoV-2 variants and showed favorable pharmacokinetic profiles in vivo for once-daily oral dosing. Furthermore, S-217622 dose-dependently inhibited intrapulmonary replication of SARS-CoV-2 in mice, indicating that this novel noncovalent inhibitor could be a potential oral agent for treating COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Humans , Mice , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use
6.
Daru ; 30(1): 139-152, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1821039

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Vortioxetine an anti-depressant FDA-drug recently reported showing better in vitro efficacy against SARS-CoV-2. METHODS: In this study, we have synthesized ten new derivatives having alkenes, alkynes, benzyl, aryl, and mixed carbamate at the N-terminal of vortioxetine. Then the binding energy and interactions with the crucial amino acid residues in the binding pocket of main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2, of reported and ten newly synthesized vortioxetine derivatives (total thirty-one) in comparison with remdesivir are analyzed and presented in this paper. RESULTS: Based on the docking scores predicted by ADV and AD, most vortioxetine derivatives showed better binding efficiency towards Mpro of SARS-CoV-2 in comparison with remdesivir (an EUA approved drug against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro) and vortioxetine. CONCLUSION: This study shows that some vortioxetine derivatives can be developed into promising drugs for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Vortioxetine/pharmacology
7.
SAR QSAR Environ Res ; 33(5): 341-356, 2022 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1819655

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) at the end of 2019 affected global health. Its infection agent was called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and vaccination are effective ways to prevent infection of SARS-CoV-2, but none of them help infected people. Targeting the enzymes of SARS-CoV-2 is an effective way to stop the replication of the virus in infected people and treat COVID-19 patients. SARS-CoV-2 main protease is a therapeutic target which the inhibition of its enzymatic activity prevents from the replication of SARS-CoV-2. A large database of molecules has been searched to identify new inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 main protease enzyme. At the first step, ligand screening based on similarity search was used to select similar compounds to known SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors. Then molecules with better predicted pharmacokinetic properties were selected. Structure-based virtual screening based on the application of molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation methods was used to select more effective inhibitors among selected molecules in previous step. Finally two compounds were considered as SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Computers , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship
8.
Commun Biol ; 5(1): 391, 2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815611

ABSTRACT

Protease inhibitors are among the most powerful antiviral drugs. However, for SARS-CoV-2 only a small number of protease inhibitors have been identified thus far and there is still a great need for assays that efficiently report protease activity and inhibition in living cells. Here, we engineer a safe VSV-based system to report both gain- and loss-of-function of coronavirus main protease (Mpro/3CLpro/Nsp5) activity in living cells. We use SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro in this system to confirm susceptibility to known inhibitors (boceprevir, GC376, PF-00835231, and PF-07321332/nirmatrelvir) and reevaluate other reported inhibitors (baicalein, ebselen, carmofur, ethacridine, ivermectin, masitinib, darunavir, and atazanavir). Moreover, we show that the system can be adapted to report both the function and the chemical inhibition of proteases from different coronavirus species as well as from distantly related viruses. Together with the fact that live cell assays also reflect compound permeability and toxicity, we anticipate that this system will be useful for both identification and optimization of additional coronavirus protease inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cysteine Endopeptidases , Humans , Indoles , Lactams , Leucine , Nitriles , Peptide Hydrolases , Proline , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Pyrrolidinones , SARS-CoV-2 , Viral Proteins/chemistry
9.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 2268, 2022 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1815534

ABSTRACT

Emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants continue to threaten the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, and small-molecule antivirals can provide an important therapeutic treatment option. The viral main protease (Mpro) is critical for virus replication and thus is considered an attractive drug target. We performed the design and characterization of three covalent hybrid inhibitors BBH-1, BBH-2 and NBH-2 created by splicing components of hepatitis C protease inhibitors boceprevir and narlaprevir, and known SARS-CoV-1 protease inhibitors. A joint X-ray/neutron structure of the Mpro/BBH-1 complex demonstrates that a Cys145 thiolate reaction with the inhibitor's keto-warhead creates a negatively charged oxyanion. Protonation states of the ionizable residues in the Mpro active site adapt to the inhibitor, which appears to be an intrinsic property of Mpro. Structural comparisons of the hybrid inhibitors with PF-07321332 reveal unconventional F···O interactions of PF-07321332 with Mpro which may explain its more favorable enthalpy of binding. BBH-1, BBH-2 and NBH-2 exhibit comparable antiviral properties in vitro relative to PF-07321332, making them good candidates for further design of improved antivirals.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cyclopropanes , Humans , Lactams , Leucine/analogs & derivatives , Nitriles , Proline/analogs & derivatives , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Sulfones , Urea
11.
Bioorg Med Chem Lett ; 58: 128526, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1814173

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically impacted global economies and public health. Although vaccine development has been successful, it was not sufficient against more infectious mutant strains including the Delta variant indicating a need for alternative treatment strategies such as small molecular compound development. In this work, a series of SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) inhibitors were designed and tested based on the active compound from high-throughput diverse compound library screens. The most efficacious compound (16b-3) displayed potent SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibition with an IC50 value of 116 nM and selectivity against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro when compared to PLpro and RdRp. This new class of compounds could be used as potential leads for further optimization in anti COVID-19 drug discovery.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Discovery , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Thiazoles/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Structure , Protease Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Thiazoles/chemical synthesis , Thiazoles/chemistry
12.
Molecules ; 27(8)2022 Apr 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1810040

ABSTRACT

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, one of the strategies used to search for new drugs has been to find inhibitors of the main protease (Mpro) of the virus SARS-CoV-2. Initially, previously reported inhibitors of related proteases such as the main proteases of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV were tested. A huge effort was then carried out by the scientific community to design, synthesize and test new small molecules acting as inactivators of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. From the chemical structure view, these compounds can be classified into two main groups: one corresponds to modified peptides displaying an adequate sequence for high affinity and a reactive warhead; and the second is a diverse group including chemical compounds that do not have a peptide framework. Although a drug including a SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitor has already been commercialized, denoting the importance of this field, more compounds have been demonstrated to be promising potent inhibitors as potential antiviral drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptide Hydrolases , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology
13.
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
14.
PLoS One ; 17(4): e0267471, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1799044

ABSTRACT

The development of new drugs is a very complex and time-consuming process, and for this reason, researchers have been resorting heavily to drug repurposing techniques as an alternative for the treatment of various diseases. This approach is especially interesting when it comes to emerging diseases with high rates of infection, because the lack of a quickly cure brings many human losses until the mitigation of the epidemic, as is the case of COVID-19. In this work, we combine an in-house developed machine learning strategy with docking, MM-PBSA calculations, and metadynamics to detect potential inhibitors for SARS-COV-2 main protease among FDA approved compounds. To assess the ability of our machine learning strategy to retrieve potential compounds we calculated the Enrichment Factor of compound datasets for three well known protein targets: HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (PDB 4B3P), 5-HT2A serotonin receptor (PDB 6A94), and H1 histamine receptor (PDB 3RZE). The Enrichment Factor for each target was, respectively, 102.5, 12.4, 10.6, which are considered significant values. Regarding the identification of molecules that can potentially inhibit the main protease of SARS-COV-2, compounds output by the machine learning step went through a docking experiment against SARS-COV-2 Mpro. The best scored poses were the input for MM-PBSA calculations and metadynamics using CHARMM and AMBER force fields to predict the binding energy for each complex. Our work points out six molecules, highlighting the strong interaction obtained for Mpro-mirabegron complex. Among these six, to the best of our knowledge, ambenonium has not yet been described in the literature as a candidate inhibitor for the SARS-COV-2 main protease in its active pocket.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adipates , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Humans , Machine Learning , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Succinates
15.
ChemMedChem ; 17(8): e202100782, 2022 Apr 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1797944

ABSTRACT

The recent emergence of pandemic of coronavirus (COVID-19) caused by SARS-CoV-2 has raised significant global health concerns. More importantly, there is no specific therapeutics currently available to combat against this deadly infection. The enzyme 3-chymotrypsin-like cysteine protease (3CLpro) is known to be essential for viral life cycle as it controls the coronavirus replication. 3CLpro could be a potential drug target as established before in the case of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). In the current study, we wanted to explore the potential of fused flavonoids as 3CLpro inhibitors. Fused flavonoids (5a,10a-dihydro-11H-benzofuro[3,2-b]chromene) are unexplored for their potential bioactivities due to their low natural occurrences. Their synthetic congeners are also rare due to unavailability of general synthetic methodology. Here we designed a simple strategy to synthesize 5a,10a-dihydro-11H-benzofuro[3,2-b]chromene skeleton and it's four novel derivatives. Our structural bioinformatics study clearly shows excellent potential of the synthesized compounds in comparison to experimentally validated inhibitor N3. Moreover, in-silico ADMET study displays excellent druggability and extremely low level of toxicity of the synthesized molecules. Further, for better understanding, the molecular dynamic approach was implemented to study the change in dynamicity after the compounds bind to the protein. A detailed investigation through clustering analysis and distance calculation gave us sound comprehensive data about their molecular interaction. In summary, we anticipate that the currently synthesized molecules could not only be a potential set of inhibitors against 3CLpro but also the insights acquired from the current study would be instrumental in further developing novel natural flavonoid based anti-COVID therapeutic spectrums.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Benzopyrans/pharmacology , Benzopyrans/therapeutic use , Flavonoids/chemistry , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry
16.
J Am Chem Soc ; 144(17): 7568-7572, 2022 May 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1795843

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a public health emergency with continuously evolving deadly variants around the globe. Among many preventive and therapeutic strategies, the design of covalent inhibitors targeting the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 that causes COVID-19 has been one of the hotly pursued areas. Currently, about 30% of marketed drugs that target enzymes are covalent inhibitors. Such inhibitors have been shown in recent years to have many advantages that counteract past reservation of their potential off-target activities, which can be minimized by modulation of the electrophilic warhead and simultaneous optimization of nearby noncovalent interactions. This process can be greatly accelerated by exploration of binding affinities using computational models, which are not well-established yet due to the requirement of capturing the chemical nature of covalent bond formation. Here, we present a robust computational method for effective prediction of absolute binding free energies (ABFEs) of covalent inhibitors. This is done by integrating the protein dipoles Langevin dipoles method (in the PDLD/S-LRA/ß version) with quantum mechanical calculations of the energetics of the reaction of the warhead and its amino acid target, in water. This approach evaluates the combined effects of the covalent and noncovalent contributions. The applicability of the method is illustrated by predicting the ABFEs of covalent inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and the 20S proteasome. Our results are found to be reliable in predicting ABFEs for cases where the warheads are significantly different. This computational protocol might be a powerful tool for designing effective covalent inhibitors especially for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and for targeted protein degradation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex
17.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 1891, 2022 04 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783979

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease is a critical drug target for small molecule COVID-19 therapy, given its likely druggability and essentiality in the viral maturation and replication cycle. Based on the conservation of 3CL protease substrate binding pockets across coronaviruses and using screening, we identified four structurally distinct lead compounds that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease. After evaluation of their binding specificity, cellular antiviral potency, metabolic stability, and water solubility, we prioritized the GC376 scaffold as being optimal for optimization. We identified multiple drug-like compounds with <10 nM potency for inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 3CL and the ability to block SARS-CoV-2 replication in human cells, obtained co-crystal structures of the 3CL protease in complex with these compounds, and determined that they have pan-coronavirus activity. We selected one compound, termed coronastat, as an optimized lead and characterized it in pharmacokinetic and safety studies in vivo. Coronastat represents a new candidate for a small molecule protease inhibitor for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection for eliminating pandemics involving coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Protease Inhibitors , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2
18.
Bioorg Med Chem Lett ; 66: 128732, 2022 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1783213

ABSTRACT

In the past two years, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused over 5 million deaths and 250 million infections worldwide. Despite successful vaccination efforts and emergency approval of small molecule therapies, a diverse range of antivirals is still needed to combat the inevitable resistance that will arise from new SARS-CoV-2 variants. The main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Mpro) is an attractive drug target due to the clinical success of protease inhibitors against other viruses, such as HIV and HCV. However, in order to combat resistance, various chemical scaffolds need to be identified that have the potential to be developed into potent inhibitors. To this end, we screened a high-content protease inhibitor library against Mproin vitro, in order to identify structurally diverse compounds that could be further developed into antiviral leads. Our high-content screening efforts retrieved 27 hits each with > 50% inhibition in our Mpro FRET assay. Of these, four of the top inhibitor compounds were chosen for follow-up due to their potency and drugability (Lipinski's rules of five criteria): anacardic acid, aloesin, aloeresin D, and TCID. Further analysis via dose response curves revealed IC50 values of 6.8 µM, 38.9 µM, 125.3 µM, and 138.0 µM for each compound, respectively. Molecular docking studies demonstrated that the four inhibitors bound at the catalytic active site of Mpro with varying binding energies (-7.5 to -5.6 kcal/mol). Furthermore, Mpro FRET assay kinetic studies demonstrated that Mpro catalysis is better represented by a sigmoidal Hill model than the standard Michaelis-Menten hyperbola, indicating substantial cooperativity of the active enzyme dimer. This result suggests that the dimerization interface could be an attractive target for allosteric inhibitors. In conclusion, we identified two closely-related natural product compounds from the Aloe plant (aloesin and aloeresin D) that may serve as novel scaffolds for Mpro inhibitor design and additionally confirmed the strongly cooperative kinetics of Mpro proteolysis. These results further advance our knowledge of structure-function relationships in Mpro and offer new molecular scaffolds for inhibitor design.


Subject(s)
Aloe , Biological Products , COVID-19 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Biological Products/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Humans , Kinetics , Molecular Docking Simulation , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
19.
J Virol ; 96(8): e0201321, 2022 04 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1779314

ABSTRACT

The high mutation rate of COVID-19 and the prevalence of multiple variants strongly support the need for pharmacological options to complement vaccine strategies. One region that appears highly conserved among different genera of coronaviruses is the substrate-binding site of the main protease (Mpro or 3CLpro), making it an attractive target for the development of broad-spectrum drugs for multiple coronaviruses. PF-07321332, developed by Pfizer, is the first orally administered inhibitor targeting the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, which also has shown potency against other coronaviruses. Here, we report three crystal structures of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)-CoV bound to the inhibitor PF-07321332. The structures reveal a ligand-binding site that is conserved among SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV, providing insights into the mechanism of inhibition of viral replication. The long and narrow cavity in the cleft between domains I and II of the main protease harbors multiple inhibitor-binding sites, where PF-07321332 occupies subsites S1, S2, and S4 and appears more restricted than other inhibitors. A detailed analysis of these structures illuminated key structural determinants essential for inhibition and elucidated the binding mode of action of the main proteases from different coronaviruses. Given the importance of the main protease for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection, insights derived from this study should accelerate the design of safer and more effective antivirals. IMPORTANCE The current pandemic of multiple variants has created an urgent need for effective inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 to complement vaccine strategies. PF-07321332, developed by Pfizer, is the first orally administered coronavirus-specific main protease inhibitor approved by the FDA. We solved the crystal structures of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV that bound to the PF-07321332, suggesting PF-07321332 is a broad-spectrum inhibitor for coronaviruses. Structures of the main protease inhibitor complexes present an opportunity to discover safer and more effective inhibitors for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Lactams , Leucine , Nitriles , Peptide Hydrolases , Proline , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , Humans , Lactams/chemistry , Lactams/metabolism , Leucine/chemistry , Leucine/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/chemistry , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/enzymology , Nitriles/chemistry , Nitriles/metabolism , Peptide Hydrolases/chemistry , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Proline/chemistry , Proline/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , SARS Virus/chemistry , SARS Virus/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
20.
Molecules ; 27(7)2022 Mar 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1776288

ABSTRACT

A new dicoumarin, jusan coumarin, (1), has been isolated from Artemisia glauca aerial parts. The chemical structure of jusan coumarin was estimated, by 1D, 2D NMR as well as HR-Ms spectroscopic methods, to be 7-hydroxy-6-methoxy-3-[(2-oxo-2H-chromen-6-yl)oxy]-2H-chromen-2-one. As the first time to be introduced in nature, its potential against SARS-CoV-2 has been estimated using various in silico methods. Molecular similarity and fingerprints experiments have been utilized for 1 against nine co-crystallized ligands of COVID-19 vital proteins. The results declared a great similarity between Jusan Coumarin and X77, the ligand of COVID-19 main protease (PDB ID: 6W63), Mpro. To authenticate the obtained outputs, a DFT experiment was achieved to confirm the similarity of X77 and 1. Consequently, 1 was docked against Mpro. The results clarified that 1 bonded in a correct way inside Mpro active site, with a binding energy of -18.45 kcal/mol. Furthermore, the ADMET and toxicity profiles of 1 were evaluated and showed the safety of 1 and its likeness to be a drug. Finally, to confirm the binding and understand the thermodynamic characters between 1 and Mpro, several molecular dynamics (MD) simulations studies have been administered. Additionally, the known coumarin derivative, 7-isopentenyloxycoumarin (2), has been isolated as well as ß-sitosterol (3).


Subject(s)
Artemisia , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coumarins , Protease Inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2 , Artemisia/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coumarins/chemistry , Coumarins/pharmacology , Dicumarol/chemistry , Dicumarol/pharmacology , Ligands , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
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