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1.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 2505, 2022 02 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747189

ABSTRACT

Mpro, the main protease of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is essential for the viral life cycle. Accordingly, several groups have performed in silico screens to identify Mpro inhibitors that might be used to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. We selected more than five hundred compounds from the top-ranking hits of two very large in silico screens for on-demand synthesis. We then examined whether these compounds could bind to Mpro and inhibit its protease activity. Two interesting chemotypes were identified, which were further evaluated by characterizing an additional five hundred synthesis on-demand analogues. The compounds of the first chemotype denatured Mpro and were considered not useful for further development. The compounds of the second chemotype bound to and enhanced the melting temperature of Mpro. The most active compound from this chemotype inhibited Mpro in vitro with an IC50 value of 1 µM and suppressed replication of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in tissue culture cells. Its mode of binding to Mpro was determined by X-ray crystallography, revealing that it is a non-covalent inhibitor. We propose that the inhibitors described here could form the basis for medicinal chemistry efforts that could lead to the development of clinically relevant inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Molecular Conformation , Molecular Docking Simulation , Nitriles/chemistry , Nitriles/metabolism , Nitriles/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Quinazolines/chemistry , Quinazolines/metabolism , Quinazolines/pharmacology , Recombinant Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/drug effects
2.
Molecules ; 27(5)2022 Mar 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732131

ABSTRACT

The angiotensin-converting enzyme II (ACE2) is a multifunctional protein in both health and disease conditions, which serves as a counterregulatory component of RAS function in a cardioprotective role. ACE2 modulation may also have relevance to ovarian cancer, diabetes, acute lung injury, fibrotic diseases, etc. Furthermore, since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19), ACE2 has been recognized as the host receptor of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The receptor binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 S-protein has a strong interaction with ACE2, so ACE2 may be a potent drug target to prevent the virus from invading host cells for anti-COVID-19 drug discovery. In this study, structure- and property-based virtual screening methods were combined to filter natural product databases from ChemDiv, TargetMol, and InterBioScreen to find potential ACE2 inhibitors. The binding affinity between protein and ligands was predicted using both Glide SP and XP scoring functions and the MM-GBSA method. ADME properties were also calculated to evaluate chemical drug-likeness. Then, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed to further explore the binding modes between the highest-potential compounds and ACE2. Results showed that the compounds 154-23-4 and STOCK1N-07141 possess potential ACE2 inhibition activities and deserve further study.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/antagonists & inhibitors , Biological Products/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , Biological Products/metabolism , Biological Products/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Databases, Chemical , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Structure-Activity Relationship , Thermodynamics
3.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(5)2022 Mar 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1732066

ABSTRACT

The endogenous protease furin is a key protein in many different diseases, such as cancer and infections. For this reason, a wide range of studies has focused on targeting furin from a therapeutic point of view. Our main objective consisted of identifying new compounds that could enlarge the furin inhibitor arsenal; secondarily, we assayed their adjuvant effect in combination with a known furin inhibitor, CMK, which avoids the SARS-CoV-2 S protein cleavage by means of that inhibition. Virtual screening was carried out to identify potential furin inhibitors. The inhibition of physiological and purified recombinant furin by screening selected compounds, Clexane, and these drugs in combination with CMK was assayed in fluorogenic tests by using a specific furin substrate. The effects of the selected inhibitors from virtual screening on cell viability (293T HEK cell line) were assayed by means of flow cytometry. Through virtual screening, Zeaxanthin and Kukoamine A were selected as the main potential furin inhibitors. In fluorogenic assays, these two compounds and Clexane inhibited both physiological and recombinant furin in a dose-dependent way. In addition, these compounds increased physiological furin inhibition by CMK, showing an adjuvant effect. In conclusion, we identified Kukoamine A, Zeaxanthin, and Clexane as new furin inhibitors. In addition, these drugs were able to increase furin inhibition by CMK, so they could also increase its efficiency when avoiding S protein proteolysis, which is essential for SARS-CoV-2 cell infection.


Subject(s)
Amino Acid Chloromethyl Ketones/pharmacology , Enoxaparin/pharmacology , Furin/antagonists & inhibitors , Spermine/analogs & derivatives , Zeaxanthins/pharmacology , Amino Acid Chloromethyl Ketones/chemistry , Amino Acid Chloromethyl Ketones/metabolism , COVID-19/transmission , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Cell Line, Tumor , Cell Survival/drug effects , Enoxaparin/chemistry , Enoxaparin/metabolism , Furin/chemistry , Furin/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Structure , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Proteolysis , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spermine/chemistry , Spermine/metabolism , Spermine/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization , Virus Replication , Zeaxanthins/chemistry , Zeaxanthins/metabolism
4.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(1)2021 Dec 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580695

ABSTRACT

Since December 2019, the new SARS-CoV-2-related COVID-19 disease has caused a global pandemic and shut down the public life worldwide. Several proteins have emerged as potential therapeutic targets for drug development, and we sought out to review the commercially available and marketed SARS-CoV-2-targeted libraries ready for high-throughput virtual screening (HTVS). We evaluated the SARS-CoV-2-targeted, protease-inhibitor-focused and protein-protein-interaction-inhibitor-focused libraries to gain a better understanding of how these libraries were designed. The most common were ligand- and structure-based approaches, along with various filtering steps, using molecular descriptors. Often, these methods were combined to obtain the final library. We recognized the abundance of targeted libraries offered and complimented by the inclusion of analytical data; however, serious concerns had to be raised. Namely, vendors lack the information on the library design and the references to the primary literature. Few references to active compounds were also provided when using the ligand-based design and usually only protein classes or a general panel of targets were listed, along with a general reference to the methods, such as molecular docking for the structure-based design. No receptor data, docking protocols or even references to the applied molecular docking software (or other HTVS software), and no pharmacophore or filter design details were given. No detailed functional group or chemical space analyses were reported, and no specific orientation of the libraries toward the design of covalent or noncovalent inhibitors could be observed. All libraries contained pan-assay interference compounds (PAINS), rapid elimination of swill compounds (REOS) and aggregators, as well as focused on the drug-like model, with the majority of compounds possessing their molecular mass around 500 g/mol. These facts do not bode well for the use of the reviewed libraries in drug design and lend themselves to commercial drug companies to focus on and improve.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Drug Design/methods , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Databases, Chemical , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
5.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun ; 591: 118-123, 2022 02 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588231

ABSTRACT

3-chyomotrypsin like protease (3CLpro) has been considered as a promising target for developing anti-SARS-CoV-2 drugs. Herein, about 6000 compounds were analyzed by high-throughput screening using enzyme activity model, and Merbromin, an antibacterial agent, was identified as a potent inhibitor of 3CLpro. Merbromin strongly inhibited the proteolytic activity of 3CLpro but not the other three proteases Proteinase K, Trypsin and Papain. Michaelis-Menten kinetic analysis showed that Merbromin was a mixed-type inhibitor of 3CLpro, due to its ability of increasing the KM and decreasing the Kcat of 3CLpro. The binding assays and molecular docking suggested that 3CLpro possessed two binding sites for Merbromin. Consistently, Merbromin showed a weak binding to the other three proteases. Together, these findings demonstrated that Merbromin is a selective inhibitor of 3CLpro and provided a scaffold to design effective inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Merbromin/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Binding Sites , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , Humans , Kinetics , Merbromin/chemistry , Merbromin/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Molecular Structure , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Domains , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Surface Plasmon Resonance/methods
6.
Biomed Pharmacother ; 146: 112513, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1575252

ABSTRACT

The interactions of four sulfonylated Phe(3-Am)-derived inhibitors (MI-432, MI-463, MI-482 and MI-1900) of type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSP) such as transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) were examined with serum albumin and cytochrome P450 (CYP) isoenzymes. Complex formation with albumin was investigated using fluorescence spectroscopy. Furthermore, microsomal hepatic CYP1A2, 2C9, 2C19 and 3A4 activities in presence of these inhibitors were determined using fluorometric assays. The inhibitory effects of these compounds on human recombinant CYP3A4 enzyme were also examined. In addition, microsomal stability assays (60-min long) were performed using an UPLC-MS/MS method to determine depletion percentage values of each compound. The inhibitors showed no or only weak interactions with albumin, and did not inhibit CYP1A2, 2C9 and 2C19. However, the compounds tested proved to be potent inhibitors of CYP3A4 in both assays performed. Within one hour, 20%, 12%, 14% and 25% of inhibitors MI-432, MI-463, MI-482 and MI-1900, respectively, were degraded. As essential host cell factor for the replication of the pandemic SARS-CoV-2, the TTSP TMPRSS2 emerged as an important target in drug design. Our study provides further preclinical data on the characterization of this type of inhibitors for numerous trypsin-like serine proteases.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Serum Albumin, Human/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/analysis , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Isoenzymes/metabolism , Microsomes, Liver/drug effects , Microsomes, Liver/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/analysis , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Binding/physiology , Serine Endopeptidases/analysis , Spectrometry, Fluorescence/methods , Tandem Mass Spectrometry/methods
7.
Amino Acids ; 54(2): 205-213, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527473

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has shaken all the countries across the globe and researchers are trying to find promising antiviral to cure the patients suffering from infection and can decrease the death. Even, different nations are using repurposing drugs to cure the symptoms and these repurposing drugs are hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, and lopinavir, and recently, India has recently given the approval for the 2-deoxy-D-glucose for emergency purpose to cure the patients suffering from the COVID-19. Plitidepsin is a popular molecule and can be used in treatment of myeloma. Plitidepsin was explored by scientists experimentally against the COVID-19 and was given to the patient. It is found to be more a promising repurposing drug against the COVID-19 than the remdesivir. Therefore, there is a need to understand the interaction of plitidepsin with the main protease of SARS-CoV-2. Molecular docking of the plitidepsin against Mpro of SARS-CoV-2 was performed and the binding energy was found to be - 137.992 kcal/mol. Furthermore, authors have performed the molecular dynamics simulations of the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 in presence of plitidepsin at 300 and 325 K. It was found that the plitidepsin binds effectively with the main protease of SARS-CoV-2 at 300 K.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Depsipeptides/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptides, Cyclic/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Depsipeptides/chemistry , Depsipeptides/metabolism , Drug Repositioning , Molecular Structure , Peptides, Cyclic/chemistry , Peptides, Cyclic/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology
8.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(22)2021 Nov 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512384

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses cause diseases in humans and livestock. The SARS-CoV-2 is infecting millions of human beings, with high morbidity and mortality worldwide. The main protease (Mpro) of coronavirus plays a pivotal role in viral replication and transcription, which, in theory, is an attractive drug target for antiviral drug development. It has been extensively discussed whether Xanthohumol is able to help COVID-19 patients. Here, we report that Xanthohumol, a small molecule in clinical trials from hops (Humulus lupulus), was a potent pan-inhibitor for various coronaviruses by targeting Mpro, for example, betacoronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (IC50 value of 1.53 µM), and alphacoronavirus PEDV (IC50 value of 7.51 µM). Xanthohumol inhibited Mpro activities in the enzymatical assays, while pretreatment with Xanthohumol restricted the SARS-CoV-2 and PEDV replication in Vero-E6 cells. Therefore, Xanthohumol is a potent pan-inhibitor of coronaviruses and an excellent lead compound for further drug development.


Subject(s)
3C Viral Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Flavonoids/chemistry , Propiophenones/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , 3C Viral Proteases/chemistry , 3C Viral Proteases/metabolism , Alphacoronavirus/enzymology , Alphacoronavirus/physiology , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Binding Sites , Biological Products/chemistry , Biological Products/metabolism , Biological Products/pharmacology , Biological Products/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus/enzymology , Coronavirus/physiology , Flavonoids/metabolism , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Flavonoids/therapeutic use , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Propiophenones/metabolism , Propiophenones/pharmacology , Propiophenones/therapeutic use , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Alignment , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
9.
Molecules ; 26(21)2021 Oct 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488678

ABSTRACT

Papain-like protease is an essential enzyme in the proteolytic processing required for the replication of SARS-CoV-2. Accordingly, such an enzyme is an important target for the development of anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents which may reduce the mortality associated with outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2. A set of 69 semi-synthesized molecules that exhibited the structural features of SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease inhibitors (PLPI) were docked against the coronavirus papain-like protease (PLpro) enzyme (PDB ID: (4OW0). Docking studies showed that derivatives 34 and 58 were better than the co-crystallized ligand while derivatives 17, 28, 31, 40, 41, 43, 47, 54, and 65 exhibited good binding modes and binding free energies. The pharmacokinetic profiling study was conducted according to the four principles of the Lipinski rules and excluded derivative 31. Furthermore, ADMET and toxicity studies showed that derivatives 28, 34, and 47 have the potential to be drugs and have been demonstrated as safe when assessed via seven toxicity models. Finally, comparing the molecular orbital energies and the molecular electrostatic potential maps of 28, 34, and 47 against the co-crystallized ligand in a DFT study indicated that 28 is the most promising candidate to interact with the target receptor (PLpro).


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Computer Simulation , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/drug effects , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Humans , Ligands , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Papain/metabolism , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
10.
Molecules ; 26(20)2021 Oct 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1470936

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 virus is highly contagious to humans and has caused a pandemic of global proportions. Despite worldwide research efforts, efficient targeted therapies against the virus are still lacking. With the ready availability of the macromolecular structures of coronavirus and its known variants, the search for anti-SARS-CoV-2 therapeutics through in silico analysis has become a highly promising field of research. In this study, we investigate the inhibiting potentialities of triazole-based compounds against the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro). The SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) is known to play a prominent role in the processing of polyproteins that are translated from the viral RNA. Compounds were pre-screened from 171 candidates (collected from the DrugBank database). The results showed that four candidates (Bemcentinib, Bisoctrizole, PYIITM, and NIPFC) had high binding affinity values and had the potential to interrupt the main protease (Mpro) activities of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The pharmacokinetic parameters of these candidates were assessed and through molecular dynamic (MD) simulation their stability, interaction, and conformation were analyzed. In summary, this study identified the most suitable compounds for targeting Mpro, and we recommend using these compounds as potential drug molecules against SARS-CoV-2 after follow up studies.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Triazoles/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Benzocycloheptenes/chemistry , Benzocycloheptenes/metabolism , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Databases, Chemical , Half-Life , Humans , Ligands , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Protein Binding , Quantitative Structure-Activity Relationship , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Triazoles/metabolism , Triazoles/therapeutic use
11.
Molecules ; 26(20)2021 Oct 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463774

ABSTRACT

A series of novel naphthopyrano[2,3-d]pyrimidin-11(12H)-one containing isoxazole nucleus 4 was synthesized under microwave irradiation and classical conditions in moderate to excellent yields upon 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition reaction using various arylnitrile oxides under copper(I) catalyst. A one-pot, three-component reaction, N-propargylation and Dimroth rearrangement were used as the key steps for the preparation of the dipolarophiles3. The structures of the synthesized compounds were established by 1H NMR, 13C NMR and HRMS-ES means. The present study aims to also predict the theoretical assembly of the COVID-19 protease (SARS-CoV-2 Mpro) and to discover in advance whether this protein can be targeted by the compounds 4a-1 and thus be synthesized. The docking scores of these compounds were compared to those of the co-crystallized native ligand inhibitor (N3) which was used as a reference standard. The results showed that all the synthesized compounds (4a-l) gave interesting binding scores compared to those of N3 inhibitor. It was found that compounds 4a, 4e and 4i achieved greatly similar binding scores and modes of interaction than N3, indicating promising affinity towards SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. On the other hand, the derivatives 4k, 4h and 4j showed binding energy scores (-8.9, -8.5 and -8.4 kcal/mol, respectively) higher than the Mpro N3 inhibitor (-7.0 kcal/mol), revealing, in their turn, a strong interaction with the target protease, although their interactions were not entirely comparable to that of the reference N3.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Drug Design , Isoxazoles/chemistry , Pyrimidinones/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Click Chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Humans , Microwaves , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Structure-Activity Relationship , Thermodynamics
12.
Angew Chem Int Ed Engl ; 60(49): 25933-25941, 2021 12 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1439669

ABSTRACT

We present the results of classical and QM/MM simulations for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease by a hydroxymethylketone inhibitor, PF-00835231. In the noncovalent complex the carbonyl oxygen atom of the warhead is placed in the oxyanion hole formed by residues 143 to 145, while P1-P3 groups are accommodated in the active site with interactions similar to those observed for the peptide substrate. According to alchemical free energy calculations, the P1' hydroxymethyl group also contributes to the binding free energy. Covalent inhibition of the enzyme is triggered by the proton transfer from Cys145 to His41. This step is followed by the nucleophilic attack of the Sγ atom on the carbonyl carbon atom of the inhibitor and a proton transfer from His41 to the carbonyl oxygen atom mediated by the P1' hydroxyl group. Computational simulations show that the addition of a chloromethyl substituent to the P1' group may lower the activation free energy for covalent inhibition.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Design , Ketones/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Humans , Ketones/metabolism , Ketones/therapeutic use , Kinetics , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thermodynamics
13.
J Med Chem ; 64(19): 14702-14714, 2021 10 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1412442

ABSTRACT

Here, we report the synthesis, structure-activity relationship studies, enzyme inhibition, antiviral activity, and X-ray crystallographic studies of 5-chloropyridinyl indole carboxylate derivatives as a potent class of SARS-CoV-2 chymotrypsin-like protease inhibitors. Compound 1 exhibited a SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitory IC50 value of 250 nM and an antiviral EC50 value of 2.8 µM in VeroE6 cells. Remdesivir, an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitor, showed an antiviral EC50 value of 1.2 µM in the same assay. Compound 1 showed comparable antiviral activity with remdesivir in immunocytochemistry assays. Compound 7d with an N-allyl derivative showed the most potent enzyme inhibitory IC50 value of 73 nM. To obtain molecular insight into the binding properties of these molecules, X-ray crystal structures of compounds 2, 7b, and 9d-bound to SARS-CoV 3CLpro were determined, and their binding properties were compared.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Indoles/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/metabolism , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/chemistry , Alanine/metabolism , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Indoles/chemical synthesis , Indoles/metabolism , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Pyridines/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Structure-Activity Relationship , Vero Cells
14.
Chem Commun (Camb) ; 57(78): 10083-10086, 2021 Sep 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404890

ABSTRACT

Zinc deficiency is linked to poor prognosis in COVID-19 patients while clinical trials with zinc demonstrate better clinical outcomes. The molecular targets and mechanistic details of the anti-coronaviral activity of zinc remain obscure. We show that zinc not only inhibits the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) with nanomolar affinity, but also viral replication. We present the first crystal structure of the Mpro-Zn2+ complex at 1.9 Å and provide the structural basis of viral replication inhibition. We show that Zn2+ coordinates with the catalytic dyad at the enzyme active site along with two previously unknown water molecules in a tetrahedral geometry to form a stable inhibited Mpro-Zn2+ complex. Further, the natural ionophore quercetin increases the anti-viral potency of Zn2+. As the catalytic dyad is highly conserved across SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and all variants of SARS-CoV-2, Zn2+ mediated inhibition of Mpro may have wider implications.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Zinc/chemistry , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , Catalytic Domain , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coordination Complexes/chemistry , Coordination Complexes/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Ions/chemistry , Kinetics , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Surface Plasmon Resonance , Thermodynamics , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
15.
Biochemistry ; 59(48): 4601-4608, 2020 12 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387100

ABSTRACT

The development of reliable ways of predicting the binding free energies of covalent inhibitors is a challenge for computer-aided drug design. Such development is important, for example, in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 virus, in which covalent inhibitors can provide a promising tool for blocking Mpro, the main protease of the virus. This work develops a reliable and practical protocol for evaluating the binding free energy of covalent inhibitors. Our protocol presents a major advance over other approaches that do not consider the chemical contribution of the binding free energy. Our strategy combines the empirical valence bond method for evaluating the reaction energy profile and the PDLD/S-LRA/ß method for evaluating the noncovalent part of the binding process. This protocol has been used in the calculations of the binding free energy of an α-ketoamide inhibitor of Mpro. Encouragingly, our approach reproduces the observed binding free energy. Our study of covalent inhibitors of cysteine proteases indicates that in the choice of an effective warhead it is crucial to focus on the exothermicity of the point on the free energy surface of a peptide cleavage that connects the acylation and deacylation steps. Overall, we believe that our approach should provide a powerful and effective method for in silico design of covalent drugs.


Subject(s)
Amides/chemistry , Amides/pharmacology , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Amides/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptide Hydrolases/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Thermodynamics
16.
ChemMedChem ; 16(13): 2075-2081, 2021 07 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384144

ABSTRACT

Computational approaches supporting the early characterization of fragment molecular recognition mechanism represent a valuable complement to more expansive and low-throughput experimental techniques. In this retrospective study, we have investigated the geometric accuracy with which high-throughput supervised molecular dynamics simulations (HT-SuMD) can anticipate the experimental bound state for a set of 23 fragments targeting the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. Despite the encouraging results herein reported, in line with those previously described for other MD-based posing approaches, a high number of incorrect binding modes still complicate HT-SuMD routine application. To overcome this limitation, fragment pose stability has been investigated and integrated as part of our in-silico pipeline, allowing us to prioritize only the more reliable predictions.


Subject(s)
Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Matrix Proteins/chemistry , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Databases, Protein , Humans , Ligands , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism
17.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 12(17): 4195-4202, 2021 May 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387119

ABSTRACT

The catalytic reaction in SARS-CoV-2 main protease is activated by a proton transfer (PT) from Cys145 to His41. The same PT is likely also required for the covalent binding of some inhibitors. Here we use a multiscale computational approach to investigate the PT thermodynamics in the apo enzyme and in complex with two potent inhibitors, N3 and the α-ketoamide 13b. We show that with the inhibitors the free energy cost to reach the charge-separated state of the active-site dyad is lower, with N3 inducing the most significant reduction. We also show that a few key sites (including specific water molecules) significantly enhance or reduce the thermodynamic feasibility of the PT reaction, with selective desolvation of the active site playing a crucial role. The approach presented is a cost-effective procedure to identify the enzyme regions that control the activation of the catalytic reaction and is thus also useful to guide the design of inhibitors.


Subject(s)
Drug Design , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Matrix Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Biocatalysis , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protons , Quantum Theory , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thermodynamics , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism
18.
Eur J Med Chem ; 225: 113818, 2021 Dec 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385491

ABSTRACT

Cathepsin C, an important lysosomal cysteine protease, mediates the maturation process of neutrophil serine proteases, and participates in the inflammation and immune regulation process associated with polymorphonuclear neutrophils. Therefore, cathepsin C is considered to be an attractive target for treating inflammatory diseases. With INS1007 (trade name: brensocatib) being granted a breakthrough drug designation by FDA for the treatment of Adult Non-cystic Fibrosis Bronchiectasis and Coronavirus Disease 2019, the development of cathepsin C inhibitor will attract attentions from medicinal chemists in the future soon. Here, we summarized the research results of cathepsin C as a therapeutic target, focusing on the development of cathepsin C inhibitor, and provided guidance and reference opinions for the upcoming development boom of cathepsin C inhibitor.


Subject(s)
Anti-Inflammatory Agents/chemistry , Cathepsin C/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Discovery , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cathepsin C/genetics , Cathepsin C/metabolism , Humans , Papillon-Lefevre Disease/genetics , Papillon-Lefevre Disease/pathology , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/drug therapy , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism
19.
Bioorg Med Chem ; 47: 116393, 2021 10 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1385129

ABSTRACT

The continued toll of COVID-19 has halted the smooth functioning of civilization on a global scale. With a limited understanding of all the essential components of viral machinery and the lack of structural information of this new virus, initial drug discovery efforts had limited success. The availability of high-resolution crystal structures of functionally essential SARS-CoV-2 proteins, including 3CLpro, supports the development of target-specific therapeutics. 3CLpro, the main protease responsible for the processing of viral polypeptide, plays a vital role in SARS-CoV-2 viral replication and translation and is an important target in other coronaviruses. Additionally, 3CLpro is the target of repurposed drugs, such as lopinavir and ritonavir. In this study, target proteins were retrieved from the protein data bank (PDB IDs: 6 M03, 6LU7, 2GZ7, 6 W63, 6SQS, 6YB7, and 6YVF) representing different open states of the main protease to accommodate macromolecular substrate. A hydroxyethylamine (HEA) library was constructed from harvested chemical structures from all the series being used in our laboratories for screening against malaria and Leishmania parasites. The database consisted of ∼1000 structure entries, of which 70% were new to ChemSpider at the time of screening. This in-house library was subjected to high throughput virtual screening (HTVS), followed by standard precision (SP) and then extra precision (XP) docking (Schrodinger LLC 2021). The ligand strain and complex energy of top hits were calculated by Molecular Mechanics Generalized Born Surface Area (MM/GBSA) method. Promising hit compounds (n = 40) specifically binding to 3CLpro with high energy and average MM/GBSA scores were then subjected to (100-ns) MD simulations. Using this sequential selection followed by an in-silico validation approach, we found a promising HEA-based compound (N,N'-((3S,3'S)-piperazine-1,4-diylbis(3-hydroxy-1-phenylbutane-4,2-diyl))bis(2-(5-methyl-1,3-dioxoisoindolin-2-yl)-3-phenylpropanamide)), which showed high in vitro antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2. Further to reduce the size of the otherwise larger ligand, a pharmacophore-based predicted library of âˆ¼42 derivatives was constructed, which were added to the previous compound library and rescreened virtually. Out of several hits from the predicted library, two compounds were synthesized, tested against SARS-CoV-2 culture, and found to have markedly improved antiviral activity.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Ethylamines/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Cell Survival/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Ethylamines/metabolism , Ethylamines/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thermodynamics , Vero Cells
20.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(17)2021 Aug 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379978

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) is one of the molecular targets for drug design. Effective vaccines have been identified as a long-term solution but the rate at which they are being administered is slow in several countries, and mutations of SARS-CoV-2 could render them less effective. Moreover, remdesivir seems to work only with some types of COVID-19 patients. Hence, the continuous investigation of new treatments for this disease is pivotal. This study investigated the inhibitory role of natural products against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro as repurposable agents in the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Through in silico approach, selected flavonoids were docked into the active site of Mpro. The free energies of the ligands complexed with Mpro were computationally estimated using the molecular mechanics-generalized Born surface area (MM/GBSA) method. In addition, the inhibition process of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro with these ligands was simulated at 100 ns in order to uncover the dynamic behavior and complex stability. The docking results showed that the selected flavonoids exhibited good poses in the binding domain of Mpro. The amino acid residues involved in the binding of the selected ligands correlated well with the residues involved with the mechanism-based inhibitor (N3) and the docking score of Quercetin-3-O-Neohesperidoside (-16.8 Kcal/mol) ranked efficiently with this inhibitor (-16.5 Kcal/mol). In addition, single-structure MM/GBSA rescoring method showed that Quercetin-3-O-Neohesperidoside (-87.60 Kcal/mol) is more energetically favored than N3 (-80.88 Kcal/mol) and other ligands (Myricetin 3-Rutinoside (-87.50 Kcal/mol), Quercetin 3-Rhamnoside (-80.17 Kcal/mol), Rutin (-58.98 Kcal/mol), and Myricitrin (-49.22 Kcal/mol). The molecular dynamics simulation (MDs) pinpointed the stability of these complexes over the course of 100 ns with reduced RMSD and RMSF. Based on the docking results and energy calculation, together with the RMSD of 1.98 ± 0.19 Å and RMSF of 1.00 ± 0.51 Å, Quercetin-3-O-Neohesperidoside is a better inhibitor of Mpro compared to N3 and other selected ligands and can be repurposed as a drug candidate for the treatment of COVID-19. In addition, this study demonstrated that in silico docking, free energy calculations, and MDs, respectively, are applicable to estimating the interaction, energetics, and dynamic behavior of molecular targets by natural products and can be used to direct the development of novel target function modulators.


Subject(s)
Biological Products/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Binding Sites , Biological Products/chemistry , Biological Products/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Drug Design , Humans , Ligands , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Quercetin/analogs & derivatives , Quercetin/chemistry , Quercetin/metabolism , Quercetin/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Viral Matrix Proteins/chemistry
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