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1.
Biochemistry ; 62(13): 2055-2064, 2023 07 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20237409

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 continues to pose a threat to public health. Main protease (Mpro) is one of the most lucrative drug targets for developing specific antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 infection. By targeting Mpro, peptidomimetic nirmatrelvir is able to inhibit viral replication of SARS-CoV-2 and reduce the risk for progression to severe COVID-19. However, multiple mutations in the gene encoding Mpro of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants raise a concern of drug resistance. In the present study, we expressed 16 previously reported SARS-CoV-2 Mpro mutants (G15S, T25I, T45I, S46F, S46P, D48N, M49I, L50F, L89F, K90R, P132H, N142S, V186F, R188K, T190I, and A191V). We evaluated the inhibition potency of nirmatrelvir against these Mpro mutants and solved the crystal structures of representative Mpro mutants of SARS-CoV-2 bound to nirmatrelvir. Enzymatic inhibition assays revealed that these Mpro variants remain susceptible to nirmatrelvir as the wildtype. Detailed analysis and structural comparison provided the inhibition mechanism of Mpro mutants by nirmatrelvir. These results informed the ongoing genomic surveillance of drug resistance of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants to nirmatrelvir and facilitate the development of next-generation anticoronavirus drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Lactams , Leucine , Nitriles , Peptide Hydrolases , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology
2.
J Am Chem Soc ; 145(24): 13204-13214, 2023 06 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20236265

ABSTRACT

We report the results of computational modeling of the reactions of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (MPro) with four potential covalent inhibitors. Two of them, carmofur and nirmatrelvir, have shown experimentally the ability to inhibit MPro. Two other compounds, X77A and X77C, were designed computationally in this work. They were derived from the structure of X77, a non-covalent inhibitor forming a tight surface complex with MPro. We modified the X77 structure by introducing warheads capable of reacting with the catalytic cysteine residue in the MPro active site. The reaction mechanisms of the four molecules with MPro were investigated by quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) simulations. The results show that all four compounds form covalent adducts with the catalytic cysteine Cys 145 of MPro. From the chemical perspective, the reactions of these four molecules with MPro follow three distinct mechanisms. The reactions are initiated by a nucleophilic attack of the thiolate group of the deprotonated cysteine residue from the catalytic dyad Cys145-His41 of MPro. In the case of carmofur and X77A, the covalent binding of the thiolate to the ligand is accompanied by the formation of the fluoro-uracil leaving group. The reaction with X77C follows the nucleophilic aromatic substitution SNAr mechanism. The reaction of MPro with nirmatrelvir (which has a reactive nitrile group) leads to the formation of a covalent thioimidate adduct with the thiolate of the Cys145 residue in the enzyme active site. Our results contribute to the ongoing search for efficient inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 enzymes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Cysteine , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation
3.
J Chem Phys ; 158(21)2023 Jun 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235913

ABSTRACT

We present a hybrid, multi-method, computational scheme for protein/ligand systems well suited to be used on modern and forthcoming massively parallel computing systems. The scheme relies on a multi-scale polarizable molecular modeling, approach to perform molecular dynamics simulations, and on an efficient Density Functional Theory (DFT) linear scaling method to post-process simulation snapshots. We use this scheme to investigate recent α-ketoamide inhibitors targeting the main protease of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We assessed the reliability and the coherence of the hybrid scheme, in particular, by checking the ability of MM and DFT to reproduce results from high-end ab initio computations regarding such inhibitors. The DFT approach enables an a posteriori fragmentation of the system and an investigation into the strength of interaction among identified fragment pairs. We show the necessity of accounting for a large set of plausible protease/inhibitor conformations to generate reliable interaction data. Finally, we point out ways to further improve α-ketoamide inhibitors to more strongly interact with particular protease domains neighboring the active site.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Ligands , Reproducibility of Results , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Catalytic Domain , Molecular Docking Simulation
4.
J Nat Prod ; 86(6): 1536-1549, 2023 Jun 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20233730

ABSTRACT

Aurones are a small subgroup of flavonoids in which the basic C6-C3-C6 skeleton is arranged as (Z)-2-benzylidenebenzofuran-3(2H)-one. These compounds are structural isomers of flavones and flavonols, natural products reported as potent inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 replication. Herein, we report the design, synthesis, and anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity of a series of 25 aurones bearing different oxygenated groups (OH, OCH3, OCH2OCH3, OCH2O, OCF2H, and OCH2C6H4R) at the A- and/or B-rings using cell-based screening assays. We observed that 12 of the 25 compounds exhibit EC50 < 3 µM (8e, 8h, 8j, 8k, 8l, 8m, 8p, 8q, 8r, 8w, 8x, and 8y), of which five presented EC50 < 1 µM (8h, 8m, 8p, 8q, and 8w) without evident cytotoxic effect in Calu-3 cells. The substitution of the A- and/or B-ring with OCH3, OCH2OCH3, and OCF2H groups seems beneficial for the antiviral activity, while the corresponding phenolic derivatives showed a significant decrease in the anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. The most potent compound of the series, aurone 8q (EC50 = 0.4 µM, SI = 2441.3), is 2 to 3 times more effective than the polyphenolic flavonoids myricetin (2) and baicalein (1), respectively. Investigation of the five more active compounds as inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro based on molecular dynamic calculations suggested that these aurones should detach from the active site of 3CLpro, and, probably, they could bind to another SARS-CoV-2 protein target (either receptor or enzyme).


Subject(s)
Benzofurans , COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Benzofurans/pharmacology , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Flavonoids/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation
5.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 9161, 2023 06 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20245441

ABSTRACT

Proteases encoded by SARS-CoV-2 constitute a promising target for new therapies against COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro, 3CLpro) and papain-like protease (PLpro) are responsible for viral polyprotein cleavage-a process crucial for viral survival and replication. Recently it was shown that 2-phenylbenzisoselenazol-3(2H)-one (ebselen), an organoselenium anti-inflammatory small-molecule drug, is a potent, covalent inhibitor of both the proteases and its potency was evaluated in enzymatic and antiviral assays. In this study, we screened a collection of 34 ebselen and ebselen diselenide derivatives for SARS-CoV-2 PLpro and Mpro inhibitors. Our studies revealed that ebselen derivatives are potent inhibitors of both the proteases. We identified three PLpro and four Mpro inhibitors superior to ebselen. Independently, ebselen was shown to inhibit the N7-methyltransferase activity of SARS-CoV-2 nsp14 protein involved in viral RNA cap modification. Hence, selected compounds were also evaluated as nsp14 inhibitors. In the second part of our work, we employed 11 ebselen analogues-bis(2-carbamoylaryl)phenyl diselenides-in biological assays to evaluate their anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity in Vero E6 cells. We present their antiviral and cytoprotective activity and also low cytotoxicity. Our work shows that ebselen, its derivatives, and diselenide analogues constitute a promising platform for development of new antivirals targeting the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Methyltransferases , Peptide Hydrolases , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation
6.
J Chem Inf Model ; 63(11): 3601-3613, 2023 06 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20232259

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) is a crucial enzyme for viral replication and has been considered an attractive drug target for the treatment of COVID-19. In this study, virtual screening techniques and in vitro assays were combined to identify novel Mpro inhibitors starting from around 8000 FDA-approved drugs. The docking analysis highlighted 17 promising best hits, biologically characterized in terms of their Mpro inhibitory activity. Among them, 7 cephalosporins and the oral anticoagulant betrixaban were able to block the enzyme activity in the micromolar range with no cytotoxic effect at the highest concentration tested. After the evaluation of the degree of conservation of Mpro residues involved in the binding with the studied ligands, the ligands' activity on SARS-CoV-2 replication was assessed. The ability of betrixaban to affect SARS-CoV-2 replication associated to its antithrombotic effect could pave the way for its possible use in the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Drug Repositioning , Ligands , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation
7.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(10)2023 May 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244460

ABSTRACT

The papain-like protease (PLpro) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) plays a critical role in the proteolytic processing of viral polyproteins and the dysregulation of the host immune response, providing a promising therapeutic target. Here, we report the structure-guide design of novel peptidomimetic inhibitors covalently targeting SARS-CoV-2 PLpro. The resulting inhibitors demonstrate submicromolar potency in the enzymatic assay (IC50 = 0.23 µM) and significant inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 PLpro in the HEK293T cells using a cell-based protease assay (EC50 = 3.61 µM). Moreover, an X-ray crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 PLpro in complex with compound 2 confirms the covalent binding of the inhibitor to the catalytic residue cysteine 111 (C111) and emphasizes the importance of interactions with tyrosine 268 (Y268). Together, our findings reveal a new scaffold of SARS-CoV-2 PLpro inhibitors and provide an attractive starting point for further optimization.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Peptidomimetics , Humans , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , HEK293 Cells , SARS-CoV-2 , Peptide Hydrolases , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry
8.
J Comput Aided Mol Des ; 37(8): 339-355, 2023 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244179

ABSTRACT

Identification of potential therapeutic candidates can be expedited by integrating computational modeling with domain aware machine learning (ML) models followed by experimental validation in an iterative manner. Generative deep learning models can generate thousands of new candidates, however, their physiochemical and biochemical properties are typically not fully optimized. Using our recently developed deep learning models and a scaffold as a starting point, we generated tens of thousands of compounds for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro that preserve the core scaffold. We utilized and implemented several computational tools such as structural alert and toxicity analysis, high throughput virtual screening, ML-based 3D quantitative structure-activity relationships, multi-parameter optimization, and graph neural networks on generated candidates to predict biological activity and binding affinity in advance. As a result of these combined computational endeavors, eight promising candidates were singled out and put through experimental testing using Native Mass Spectrometry and FRET-based functional assays. Two of the tested compounds with quinazoline-2-thiol and acetylpiperidine core moieties showed IC[Formula: see text] values in the low micromolar range: [Formula: see text] [Formula: see text]M and 3.41±0.0015 [Formula: see text]M, respectively. Molecular dynamics simulations further highlight that binding of these compounds results in allosteric modulations within the chain B and the interface domains of the Mpro. Our integrated approach provides a platform for data driven lead optimization with rapid characterization and experimental validation in a closed loop that could be applied to other potential protein targets.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry
9.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(10)2023 May 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20244127

ABSTRACT

Previous studies indicated that natural-based chalcones have significant inhibitory effects on the coronavirus enzymes 3CLpro and PLpro as well as modulation of some host-based antiviral targets (HBATs). In this study, a comprehensive computational and structural study was performed to investigate the affinity of our compound library consisting of 757 chalcone-based structures (CHA-1 to CHA-757) for inhibiting the 3CLpro and PLpro enzymes and against twelve selected host-based targets. Our results indicated that CHA-12 (VUF 4819) is the most potent and multi-target inhibitor in our chemical library over all viral and host-based targets. Correspondingly, CHA-384 and its congeners containing ureide moieties were found to be potent and selective 3CLpro inhibitors, and benzotriazole moiety in CHA-37 was found to be a main fragment for inhibiting the 3CLpro and PLpro. Surprisingly, our results indicate that the ureide and sulfonamide moieties are integral fragments for the optimum 3CLpro inhibition while occupying the S1 and S3 subsites, which is fully consistent with recent reports on the site-specific 3CLpro inhibitors. Finding the multi-target inhibitor CHA-12, previously reported as an LTD4 antagonist for the treatment of inflammatory pulmonary diseases, prompted us to suggest it as a concomitant agent for relieving respiratory symptoms and suppressing COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chalcone , Chalcones , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Chalcones/pharmacology , Chalcone/pharmacology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry
10.
Sci Rep ; 13(1): 9204, 2023 06 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20242518

ABSTRACT

The recent outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has shown the necessity for fast and broad drug discovery methods to enable us to react quickly to novel and highly infectious diseases. A well-known SARS-CoV-2 target is the viral main 3-chymotrypsin-like cysteine protease (Mpro), known to control coronavirus replication, which is essential for the viral life cycle. Here, we applied an interaction-based drug repositioning algorithm on all protein-compound complexes available in the protein database (PDB) to identify Mpro inhibitors and potential novel compound scaffolds against SARS-CoV-2. The screen revealed a heterogeneous set of 692 potential Mpro inhibitors containing known ones such as Dasatinib, Amodiaquine, and Flavin mononucleotide, as well as so far untested chemical scaffolds. In a follow-up evaluation, we used publicly available data published almost two years after the screen to validate our results. In total, we are able to validate 17% of the top 100 predictions with publicly available data and can furthermore show that predicted compounds do cover scaffolds that are yet not associated with Mpro. Finally, we detected a potentially important binding pattern consisting of 3 hydrogen bonds with hydrogen donors of an oxyanion hole within the active side of Mpro. Overall, these results give hope that we will be better prepared for future pandemics and that drug development will become more efficient in the upcoming years.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Pandemics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Drug Discovery/methods
11.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(11)2023 May 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20241072

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused more than six million deaths worldwide since 2019. Although vaccines are available, novel variants of coronavirus are expected to appear continuously, and there is a need for a more effective remedy for coronavirus disease. In this report, we isolated eupatin from Inula japonica flowers and showed that it inhibits the coronavirus 3 chymotrypsin-like (3CL) protease as well as viral replication. We showed that eupatin treatment inhibits SARS-CoV-2 3CL-protease, and computational modeling demonstrated that it interacts with key residues of 3CL-protease. Further, the treatment decreased the number of plaques formed by human coronavirus OC43 (HCoV-OC43) infection and decreased viral protein and RNA levels in the media. These results indicate that eupatin inhibits coronavirus replication.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Peptide Hydrolases , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Endopeptidases , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology
12.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(24)2022 Dec 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20239015

ABSTRACT

The effective antiviral agents that treat severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) are urgently needed around the world. The 3C-like protease (3CLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 plays a pivotal role in virus replication; it also has become an important therapeutic target for the infection of SARS-CoV-2. In this work, we have identified Darunavir derivatives that inhibit the 3CLpro through a high-throughput screening method based on a fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay in vitro. We found that the compounds 29# and 50# containing polyphenol and caffeine derivatives as the P2 ligand, respectively, exhibited favorable anti-3CLpro potency with EC50 values of 6.3 µM and 3.5 µM and were shown to bind to SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro in vitro. Moreover, we analyzed the binding mode of the DRV in the 3CLpro through molecular docking. Importantly, 29# and 50# exhibited a similar activity against the protease in Omicron variants. The inhibitory effect of compounds 29# and 50# on the SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro warrants that they are worth being the template to design functionally improved inhibitors for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Darunavir , Protease Inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Darunavir/pharmacology , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors
13.
Eur J Med Chem ; 257: 115487, 2023 Sep 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2327362

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 continues to pose a great threat to public health while various vaccines are available worldwide. Main protease (Mpro) has been validated as an effective anti-COVID-19 drug target. Using medicinal chemistry and rational drug design strategies, we identified a quinazolin-4-one series of nonpeptidic, noncovalent SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors based on baicalein, 5,6,7-trihydroxy-2-phenyl-4H-chromen-4-one. In particular, compound C7 exhibits superior inhibitory activity against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro relative to baicalein (IC50 = 0.085 ± 0.006 and 0.966 ± 0.065 µM, respectively), as well as improved physicochemical and drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) properties. In addition, C7 inhibits viral replication in SARS-CoV-2-infected Vero E6 cells more effectively than baicalein (EC50 = 1.10 ± 0.12 and 5.15 ± 1.64 µM, respectively) with low cytotoxicity (CC50 > 50 µM). An X-ray co-crystal structure reveals a non-covalent mechanism of action, and a noncanonical binding mode not observed by baicalein. These results suggest that C7 represents a promising lead for development of more effective SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors and anti-COVID-19 drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Pandemics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Peptide Hydrolases
14.
Eur J Med Chem ; 257: 115491, 2023 Sep 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2325420

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide. The main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 plays a central role in viral replication and transcription and represents an attractive drug target for fighting COVID-19. Many SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors have been reported, including covalent and noncovalent inhibitors. The SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitor PF-07321332 (Nirmatrelvir) designed by Pfizer has been put on the market. This paper briefly introduces the structural characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and summarizes the research progress of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors from the aspects of drug repurposing and drug design. These information will provide a basis for the drug development of treating the infection of SARS-CoV-2 and even other coronaviruses in the future.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation
15.
Nat Chem ; 15(7): 998-1005, 2023 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2324972

ABSTRACT

γ-Amino acids can play important roles in the biological activities of natural products; however, the ribosomal incorporation of γ-amino acids into peptides is challenging. Here we report how a selection campaign employing a non-canonical peptide library containing cyclic γ2,4-amino acids resulted in the discovery of very potent inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro). Two kinds of cyclic γ2,4-amino acids, cis-3-aminocyclobutane carboxylic acid (γ1) and (1R,3S)-3-aminocyclopentane carboxylic acid (γ2), were ribosomally introduced into a library of thioether-macrocyclic peptides. One resultant potent Mpro inhibitor (half-maximal inhibitory concentration = 50 nM), GM4, comprising 13 residues with γ1 at the fourth position, manifests a 5.2 nM dissociation constant. An Mpro:GM4 complex crystal structure reveals the intact inhibitor spans the substrate binding cleft. The γ1 interacts with the S1' catalytic subsite and contributes to a 12-fold increase in proteolytic stability compared to its alanine-substituted variant. Knowledge of interactions between GM4 and Mpro enabled production of a variant with a 5-fold increase in potency.


Subject(s)
Amino Acids , COVID-19 , Amino Acids/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Carboxylic Acids , Peptides/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
16.
Bioorg Med Chem ; 87: 117316, 2023 05 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2320928

ABSTRACT

In this paper, a series of peptidomimetic SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease inhibitors with new P2 and P4 positions were synthesized and evaluated. Among these compounds, 1a and 2b exhibited obvious 3CLpro inhibitory activities with IC50 of 18.06 nM and 22.42 nM, respectively. 1a and 2b also showed excellent antiviral activities against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro with EC50 of 313.0 nM and 170.2 nM, respectively, the antiviral activities of 1a and 2b were 2- and 4-fold better than that of nirmatrelvir, respectively. In vitro studies revealed that these two compounds had no significant cytotoxicity. Further metabolic stability tests and pharmacokinetic studies showed that the metabolic stability of 1a and 2b in liver microsomes was significantly improved, and 2b had similar pharmacokinetic parameters to that of nirmatrelvir in mice.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Peptidomimetics , Animals , Mice , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Peptidomimetics/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , Nitriles , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology
17.
Virol Sin ; 38(3): 470-479, 2023 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2320882

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 has become a global public health crisis since its outbreak in China in December 2019. Currently there are few clinically effective drugs to combat SARS-CoV-2 infection. The main protein (Mpro), papain-like protease (PLpro) and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of SARS-CoV-2 are involved in the viral replication, and might be prospective targets for anti-coronavirus drug development. Here, we investigated the antiviral activity of oridonin, a natural small-molecule compound, against SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro. The time-of-addition analysis showed that oridonin efficiently inhibited SARS-CoV-2 infection by interfering with the genome replication at the post-entry stage. Mechanistically, the inhibition of viral replication by oridonin depends on the oxidation activity of α, ß-unsaturated carbonyl. Further experiments showed that oridonin not only effectively inhibited SARS-CoV-2 Mpro activity, but also had some inhibitory effects on PLpro-mediated deubiquitinating and viral polymerase-catalyzed RNA elongation activities at high concentrations. In particular, oridonin could inhibit the bat SARS-like CoV and the newly emerged SARS-CoV-2 omicron variants (BA.1 and BA.2), which highlights its potential as a pan-coronavirus antiviral agent. Overall, our data provide strong evidence that oridonin is an efficient antiviral agent against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Humans , Peptide Hydrolases/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology
18.
Int J Biol Macromol ; 242(Pt 2): 124772, 2023 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2315945

ABSTRACT

Evolution of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 warrant the need for the continued efforts in identifying target-oriented new drugs. Dual targeting agents against MPro and PLPro not only overcome the incomplete efficacy but also the drug resistance, which is common problem. Since both these are cysteine proteases, we designed 2-chloroquinoline based molecules with additional imine moiety in the middle as possible nucleophilic warheads. In the first round of design and synthesis, three molecules (C3, C4 and C5) inhibited (Ki < 2 µM) only MPro by binding covalently to C145 and one molecule (C10) inhibited both the proteases non-covalently (Ki < 2 µM) with negligible cytotoxicity. Further conversion of the imine in C10 to azetidinone (C11) improved the potency against both the enzymes in the nanomolar range (820 nM against MPro and 350 nM against PLPro) with no cytotoxicity. Conversion of imine to thiazolidinone (C12), reduced the inhibition by 3-5 folds against both the enzymes. Biochemical and computational studies suggest that C10-C12 bind in the substrate binding pocket of MPro and in the BL2 loop of the PLPro. Since these dual inhibitors have least cytotoxicity, they could be further explored as therapeutics against the SARS-CoV-2 and other analogous viruses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cysteine Proteases , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , Imines , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology
19.
Int J Mol Sci ; 24(9)2023 Apr 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313623

ABSTRACT

Antiviral protease inhibitors are peptidomimetic molecules that block the active catalytic center of viral proteases and, thereby, prevent the cleavage of viral polyprotein precursors into maturation. They continue to be a key class of antiviral drugs that can be used either as boosters for other classes of antivirals or as major components of current regimens in therapies for the treatment of infections with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). However, sustained/lifelong treatment with the drugs or drugs combined with other substance(s) often leads to severe hepatic side effects such as lipid abnormalities, insulin resistance, and hepatotoxicity. The underlying pathogenic mechanisms are not fully known and are under continuous investigation. This review focuses on the general as well as specific molecular mechanisms of the protease inhibitor-induced hepatotoxicity involving transporter proteins, apolipoprotein B, cytochrome P450 isozymes, insulin-receptor substrate 1, Akt/PKB signaling, lipogenic factors, UDP-glucuronosyltransferase, pregnane X receptor, hepatocyte nuclear factor 4α, reactive oxygen species, inflammatory cytokines, off-target proteases, and small GTPase Rab proteins related to ER-Golgi trafficking, organelle stress, and liver injury. Potential pharmaceutical/therapeutic solutions to antiviral drug-induced hepatic side effects are also discussed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury , HIV Infections , HIV Protease Inhibitors , Humans , SARS-CoV-2 , HIV Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , HIV Infections/complications , HIV Infections/drug therapy
20.
Bioorg Med Chem Lett ; 90: 129324, 2023 06 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2313608

ABSTRACT

The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 has caused global crisis on health and economics. The multiple drug-drug interaction risk associated with ritonavir warrants specialized assessment before using Paxlovid. Here we report a multiple-round SAR study to provide a novel bicyclic[3.3.0]proline peptidyl α-ketoamide compound 4a, which is endowed with excellent antiviral activities and pharmacokinetic properties. Also, in vivo HCoV-OC43 neonatal mice model demonstrated compound 4a has good in vivo efficacy. Based on these properties, compound 4a worth further SAR optimization with the goal to develop compounds with better pharmacokinetic properties and finally to realize single agent efficacy in human.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Protease Inhibitors , Animals , Humans , Mice , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Proline/pharmacology
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