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1.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(5)2022 Feb 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1715407

ABSTRACT

The overall impact of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) on our society is unprecedented. The identification of small natural ligands that could prevent the entry and/or replication of the coronavirus remains a pertinent approach to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Previously, we showed that the phenolic compounds corilagin and 1,3,6-tri-O-galloyl-ß-D-glucose (TGG) inhibit the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD) and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the SARS-CoV-2 target receptor on the cell membrane of the host organism. Building on these promising results, we now assess the effects of these phenolic ligands on two other crucial targets involved in SARS-CoV-2 cell entry and replication, respectively: transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) and 3-chymotrypsin like protease (3CLpro) inhibitors. Since corilagin, TGG, and tannic acid (TA) share many physicochemical and structural properties, we investigate the binding of TA to these targets. In this work, a combination of experimental methods (biochemical inhibition assays, surface plasmon resonance, and quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring) confirms the potential role of TA in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infectivity through the inhibition of extracellular RBD/ACE2 interactions and TMPRSS2 and 3CLpro activity. Moreover, molecular docking prediction followed by dynamic simulation and molecular mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann surface area (MMPBSA) free energy calculation also shows that TA binds to RBD, TMPRSS2, and 3CLpro with higher affinities than TGG and corilagin. Overall, these results suggest that naturally occurring TA is a promising candidate to prevent and inhibit the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Tannins/pharmacology , Algorithms , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Glucosides/chemistry , Glucosides/metabolism , Glucosides/pharmacology , Humans , Hydrolyzable Tannins/chemistry , Hydrolyzable Tannins/metabolism , Hydrolyzable Tannins/pharmacology , Kinetics , Pandemics/prevention & control , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Surface Plasmon Resonance , Tannins/chemistry , Tannins/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects
4.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 7(1): 44, 2022 02 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1683982

ABSTRACT

The wide transmission and host adaptation of SARS-CoV-2 have led to the rapid accumulation of mutations, posing significant challenges to the effectiveness of vaccines and therapeutic antibodies. Although several neutralizing antibodies were authorized for emergency clinical use, convalescent patients derived natural antibodies are vulnerable to SARS-CoV-2 Spike mutation. Here, we describe the screen of a panel of SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain (RBD) targeted nanobodies (Nbs) from a synthetic library and the design of a biparatopic Nb, named Nb1-Nb2, with tight affinity and super-wide neutralization breadth against multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Deep-mutational scanning experiments identify the potential binding epitopes of the Nbs on the RBD and demonstrate that biparatopic Nb1-Nb2 has a strong escape-resistant feature against more than 60 tested RBD amino acid substitutions. Using pseudovirion-based and trans-complementation SARS-CoV-2 tools, we determine that the Nb1-Nb2 broadly neutralizes multiple SARS-CoV-2 variants at sub-nanomolar levels, including Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), Gamma (P.1), Delta (B.1.617.2), Lambda (C.37), Kappa (B.1.617.1), and Mu (B.1.621). Furthermore, a heavy-chain antibody is constructed by fusing the human IgG1 Fc to Nb1-Nb2 (designated as Nb1-Nb2-Fc) to improve its neutralization potency, yield, stability, and potential half-life extension. For the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) that harbors unprecedented multiple RBD mutations, Nb1-Nb2-Fc keeps a firm affinity (KD < 1.0 × 10-12 M) and strong neutralizing activity (IC50 = 1.46 nM for authentic Omicron virus). Together, we developed a tetravalent biparatopic human heavy-chain antibody with ultrapotent and broad-spectrum SARS-CoV-2 neutralization activity which highlights the potential clinical applications.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/pharmacology , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Single-Domain Antibodies/pharmacology , Antibodies, Neutralizing/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Neutralizing/genetics , Antibodies, Viral/biosynthesis , Antibodies, Viral/genetics , Antibody Affinity , Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay , Epitopes/chemistry , Epitopes/immunology , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Gene Expression , Humans , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/biosynthesis , Immunoglobulin Fc Fragments/genetics , Models, Molecular , Neutralization Tests , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Conformation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/biosynthesis , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Domain Antibodies/biosynthesis , Single-Domain Antibodies/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/antagonists & inhibitors , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
5.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(3)2022 Feb 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674670

ABSTRACT

This study aimed to identify potential inhibitors and investigate the mechanism of action on SARS-CoV-2 ACE2 receptors using a molecular modeling study and theoretical determination of biological activity. Hydroxychloroquine was used as a pivot structure and antimalarial analogues of 1,2,4,5 tetraoxanes were used for the construction and evaluation of pharmacophoric models. The pharmacophore-based virtual screening was performed on the Molport® database (~7.9 million compounds) and obtained 313 structures. Additionally, a pharmacokinetic study was developed, obtaining 174 structures with 99% confidence for human intestinal absorption and penetration into the blood-brain barrier (BBB); posteriorly, a study of toxicological properties was realized. Toxicological predictions showed that the selected molecules do not present a risk of hepatotoxicity, carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and skin irritation. Only 54 structures were selected for molecular docking studies, and five structures showed binding affinity (ΔG) values satisfactory for ACE2 receptors (PDB 6M0J), in which the molecule MolPort-007-913-111 had the best ΔG value of -8.540 Kcal/mol, followed by MolPort-002-693-933 with ΔG = -8.440 Kcal/mol. Theoretical determination of biological activity was realized for 54 structures, and five molecules showed potential protease inhibitors. Additionally, we investigated the Mpro receptor (6M0K) for the five structures via molecular docking, and we confirmed the possible interaction with the target. In parallel, we selected the TopsHits 9 with antiviral potential that evaluated synthetic accessibility for future synthesis studies and in vivo and in vitro tests.


Subject(s)
Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Tetraoxanes/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , Computational Biology/methods , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/analogs & derivatives , Molecular Docking Simulation/methods , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(3)2022 Feb 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1674669

ABSTRACT

Recently, the world has been witnessing a global pandemic with no effective therapeutics yet, while cancer continues to be a major disease claiming many lives. The natural compound curcumin is bestowed with multiple medicinal applications in addition to demonstrating antiviral and anticancer activities. In order to elucidate the impact of curcumin on COVID-19 and cancer, the current investigation has adapted several computational techniques to unfold its possible inhibitory activity. Accordingly, curcumin and similar compounds and analogues were retrieved and assessed for their binding affinities at the binding pocket of SARS-CoV-2 main protease and DDX3. The best binding pose was escalated to molecular dynamics simulation (MDS) studies to assess the time dependent stability. Our findings have rendered one compound that has demonstrated good molecular dock score complemented by key residue interactions and have shown stable MDS results inferred by root mean square deviation (RMSD), radius of gyration (Rg), binding mode, hydrogen bond interactions, and interaction energy. Essential dynamics results have shown that the systemadapts minimum energy conformation to attain a stable state. The discovered compound (curA) could act as plausible inhibitor against SARS-CoV-2 and DDX3. Furthermore, curA could serve as a chemical scaffold for designing and developing new compounds.


Subject(s)
Curcumin/analogs & derivatives , Curcumin/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Computational Biology/methods , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation/methods , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Neoplasms/drug therapy , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
7.
Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis ; 1868(3): 166322, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1637812

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Acute kidney injury (AKI) is both a consequence and determinant of outcomes in COVID-19. The kidney is one of the major organs infected by the causative virus, SARS-CoV-2. Viral entry into cells requires the viral spike protein, and both the virus and its spike protein appear in the urine of COVID-19 patients with AKI. We examined the effects of transfecting the viral spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 in kidney cell lines. METHODS: HEK293, HEK293-ACE2+ (stably overexpressing ACE2), and Vero E6 cells having endogenous ACE2 were transfected with SARS-CoV-2 spike or control plasmid. Assessment of gene and protein expression, and syncytia formation was performed, and the effects of quercetin on syncytia formation examined. FINDINGS: Spike transfection in HEK293-ACE2+ cells caused syncytia formation, cellular sloughing, and focal denudation of the cell monolayer; transfection in Vero E6 cells also caused syncytia formation. Spike expression upregulated potentially nephrotoxic genes (TNF-α, MCP-1, and ICAM1). Spike upregulated the cytoprotective gene HO-1 and relevant signaling pathways (p-Akt, p-STAT3, and p-p38). Quercetin, an HO-1 inducer, reduced syncytia formation and spike protein expression. INTERPRETATION: The major conclusions of the study are: 1) Spike protein expression in kidney cells provides a relevant model for the study of maladaptive and adaptive responses germane to AKI in COVID-19; 2) such spike protein expression upregulates HO-1; and 3) quercetin, an HO-1 inducer, may provide a clinically relevant/feasible protective strategy in AKI occurring in the setting of COVID-19. FUNDING: R01-DK119167 (KAN), R01-AI100911 (JPG), P30-DK079337; R01-DK059600 (AA).


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Heme Oxygenase-1/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , HEK293 Cells , Host-Pathogen Interactions/drug effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions/physiology , Humans , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Binding/physiology , Quercetin/pharmacology , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Signal Transduction/physiology , Up-Regulation/drug effects , Up-Regulation/physiology , Vero Cells , Virus Internalization/drug effects
8.
Sci Rep ; 12(1): 717, 2022 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1621280

ABSTRACT

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is currently a big concern around the world. Recent reports show that the disease severity and mortality of COVID-19 infected patients may vary from gender to gender with a very high risk of death for seniors. In addition, some steroid structures have been reported to affect coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, function and activity. The entry of SARS-CoV-2 into host cells depends on the binding of coronavirus spike protein to angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2). Viral main protease is essential for the replication of SARS-CoV-2. It was hypothesized that steroid molecules (e.g., estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, dexamethasone, hydrocortisone, prednisone and calcitriol) could occupy the active site of the protease and could alter the interaction of spike protein with ACE2. Computational data showed that estradiol interacted more strongly with the main protease active site. In the presence of calcitriol, the binding energy of the spike protein to ACE2 was increased, and transferring Apo to Locked S conformer of spike trimer was facilitated. Together, the interaction between spike protein and ACE2 can be disrupted by calcitriol. Potential use of estradiol and calcitriol to reduce virus invasion and replication needs clinical investigation.


Subject(s)
Calcitriol/pharmacology , Estradiol/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain/drug effects , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects
9.
Immunol Lett ; 242: 1-7, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1611776

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 harbors a unique S1/S2 furin cleavage site within its spike protein, which can be cleaved by furin and other proprotein convertases. Proteolytic activation of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein at the S1/S2 boundary facilitates interaction with host ACE2 receptor for cell entry. To address this, high titer antibody was generated against the SARS-CoV-2-specific furin motif. Using a series of innovative ELISA-based assays, this furin site blocking antibody displayed high sensitivity and specificity for the S1/S2 furin cleavage site, including with a P681R mutation, and demonstrated effective blockage of both enzyme-mediated cleavage and spike-ACE2 interaction. The results suggest that immunological blocking of the furin cleavage site may afford a suitable approach to stem proteolytic activation of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and curtail viral infectivity.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Furin/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Amino Acid Motifs/genetics , Amino Acid Motifs/immunology , Antibodies, Viral/pharmacology , Humans , Mutation , Nose/enzymology , Proprotein Convertases/metabolism , Protein Binding/drug effects , Proteolysis/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
10.
Front Immunol ; 12: 796855, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1607033

ABSTRACT

Since its appearance, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the causal agent of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), represents a global problem for human health that involves the host lipid homeostasis. Regarding, lipid rafts are functional membrane microdomains with highly and tightly packed lipid molecules. These regions enriched in sphingolipids and cholesterol recruit and concentrate several receptors and molecules involved in pathogen recognition and cellular signaling. Cholesterol-rich lipid rafts have multiple functions for viral replication; however, their role in SARS-CoV-2 infection remains unclear. In this review, we discussed the novel evidence on the cholesterol-rich lipid rafts as a platform for SARS-CoV-2 entry, where receptors such as the angiotensin-converting enzyme-2 (ACE-2), heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), human Toll-like receptors (TLRs), transmembrane serine proteases (TMPRSS), CD-147 and HDL-scavenger receptor B type 1 (SR-B1) are recruited for their interaction with the viral spike protein. FDA-approved drugs such as statins, metformin, hydroxychloroquine, and cyclodextrins (methyl-ß-cyclodextrin) can disrupt cholesterol-rich lipid rafts to regulate key molecules in the immune signaling pathways triggered by SARS-CoV-2 infection. Taken together, better knowledge on cholesterol-rich lipid rafts in the SARS-CoV-2-host interactions will provide valuable insights into pathogenesis and the identification of novel therapeutic targets.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Cholesterol/metabolism , Membrane Microdomains/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/pharmacology , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Internalization/drug effects , beta-Cyclodextrins/pharmacology
11.
J Am Soc Mass Spectrom ; 33(1): 181-188, 2022 Jan 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596214

ABSTRACT

Affinity selection-mass spectrometry, which includes magnetic microbead affinity selection-screening (MagMASS), is ideal for the discovery of ligands in complex mixtures that bind to pharmacological targets. Therapeutic agents are needed to prevent or treat COVID-19, which is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Infection of human cells by SARS-CoV-2 involves binding of the virus spike protein subunit 1 (S1) to the human cell receptor angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2). Like antibodies, small molecules have the potential to block the interaction of the viral S1 protein with human ACE2 and prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, a MagMASS assay was developed for the discovery of ligands to the S1 protein. Unlike previous MagMASS approaches, this new assay used robotics for 5-fold enhancement of throughput and sensitivity. The assay was validated using the SBP-1 peptide, which is identical to the ACE2 amino acid sequence recognized by the S1 protein, and then applied to the discovery of natural ligands from botanical extracts. Small molecule ligands to the S1 protein were discovered in extracts of the licorice species, Glycyrrhiza inflata. In particular, the licorice ligand licochalcone A was identified through dereplication and comparison with standards using HPLC with high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Discovery/methods , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Binding Sites/drug effects , COVID-19/metabolism , Chalcones/chemistry , Chalcones/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , Fabaceae/chemistry , Humans , Ligands , Mass Spectrometry/methods , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism
12.
Cells ; 11(1)2022 01 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580990

ABSTRACT

Extracellular vesicles (EVs) and viruses share common features: size, structure, biogenesis and uptake. In order to generate EVs expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein on their surface (S-EVs), we collected EVs from SARS-CoV-2 spike expressing human embryonic kidney (HEK-293T) cells by stable transfection with a vector coding for the S1 and S2 subunits. S-EVs were characterized using nanoparticle tracking analysis, ExoView and super-resolution microscopy. We obtained a population of EVs of 50 to 200 nm in size. Spike expressing EVs represented around 40% of the total EV population and co-expressed spike protein with tetraspanins on the surfaces of EVs. We subsequently used ACE2-positive endothelial and bronchial epithelial cells for assessing the internalization of labeled S-EVs using a cytofluorimetric analysis. Internalization of S-EVs was higher than that of control EVs from non-transfected cells. Moreover, S-EV uptake was significantly decreased by anti-ACE2 antibody pre-treatment. Furthermore, colchicine, a drug currently used in clinical trials, significantly reduced S-EV entry into the cells. S-EVs represent a simple, safe, and scalable model to study host-virus interactions and the mechanisms of novel therapeutic drugs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Extracellular Vesicles/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antibodies, Blocking/pharmacology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Cells, Cultured , Colchicine/pharmacology , Flow Cytometry/methods , HEK293 Cells , Host Microbial Interactions/drug effects , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells/virology , Humans , Microscopy, Fluorescence/methods , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
13.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(50)2021 12 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1559358

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has created an urgent need for new technologies to treat COVID-19. Here we report a 2'-fluoro protected RNA aptamer that binds with high affinity to the receptor binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, thereby preventing its interaction with the host receptor ACE2. A trimerized version of the RNA aptamer matching the three RBDs in each spike complex enhances binding affinity down to the low picomolar range. Binding mode and specificity for the aptamer-spike interaction is supported by biolayer interferometry, single-molecule fluorescence microscopy, and flow-induced dispersion analysis in vitro. Cell culture experiments using virus-like particles and live SARS-CoV-2 show that the aptamer and, to a larger extent, the trimeric aptamer can efficiently block viral infection at low concentration. Finally, the aptamer maintains its high binding affinity to spike from other circulating SARS-CoV-2 strains, suggesting that it could find widespread use for the detection and treatment of SARS-CoV-2 and emerging variants.


Subject(s)
Aptamers, Nucleotide/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Aptamers, Nucleotide/chemistry , Aptamers, Nucleotide/metabolism , Humans , Mutation , Neutralization Tests , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , SELEX Aptamer Technique , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
14.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 6977, 2021 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545609

ABSTRACT

Despite an unprecedented global gain in knowledge since the emergence of SARS-CoV-2, almost all mechanistic knowledge related to the molecular and cellular details of viral replication, pathology and virulence has been generated using early prototypic isolates of SARS-CoV-2. Here, using atomic force microscopy and molecular dynamics, we investigated how these mutations quantitatively affected the kinetic, thermodynamic and structural properties of RBD-ACE2 complex formation. We observed for several variants of concern a significant increase in the RBD-ACE2 complex stability. While the N501Y and E484Q mutations are particularly important for the greater stability, the N501Y mutation is unlikely to significantly affect antibody neutralization. This work provides unprecedented atomistic detail on the binding of SARS-CoV-2 variants and provides insight into the impact of viral mutations on infection-induced immunity.


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Neutralizing/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , COVID-19/therapy , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Kinetics , Microscopy, Atomic Force , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , Protein Stability , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Thermodynamics
15.
Mar Drugs ; 19(12)2021 Nov 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542656

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic is a major human health concern. The pathogen responsible for COVID-19, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), invades its host through the interaction of its spike (S) protein with a host cell receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). In addition to ACE2, heparan sulfate (HS) on the surface of host cells also plays a significant role as a co-receptor. Our previous studies demonstrated that sulfated glycans, such as heparin and fucoidans, show anti-COVID-19 activities. In the current study, rhamnan sulfate (RS), a polysaccharide with a rhamnose backbone from a green seaweed, Monostroma nitidum, was evaluated for binding to the S-protein from SARS-CoV-2 and inhibition of viral infectivity in vitro. The structural characteristics of RS were investigated by determining its monosaccharide composition and performing two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance. RS inhibition of the interaction of heparin, a highly sulfated HS, with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (from wild type and different mutant variants) was studied using surface plasmon resonance (SPR). In competitive binding studies, the IC50 of RS against the S-protein receptor binding domain (RBD) binding to immobilized heparin was 1.6 ng/mL, which is much lower than the IC50 for heparin (~750 ng/mL). RS showed stronger inhibition than heparin on the S-protein RBD or pseudoviral particles binding to immobilized heparin. Finally, in an in vitro cell-based assay, RS showed strong antiviral activities against wild type SARS-CoV-2 and the delta variant.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Deoxy Sugars/pharmacology , Mannans/pharmacology , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Seaweed , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Aquatic Organisms , Deoxy Sugars/therapeutic use , Humans , Mannans/therapeutic use , Plant Extracts/therapeutic use , Protein Binding/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/drug effects , Structure-Activity Relationship
16.
Phys Chem Chem Phys ; 23(27): 14873-14888, 2021 Jul 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1541260

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, first detected in December 2019, is still emerging through virus mutations. Although almost under control in some countries due to effective vaccines that are mitigating the worldwide pandemic, the urgency to develop additional vaccines and therapeutic treatments is imperative. In this work, the natural polyphenols corilagin and 1,3,6-tri-O-galloy-ß-d-glucose (TGG) are investigated to determine the structural basis of inhibitor interactions as potential candidates to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 viral entry into target cells. First, the therapeutic potential of the ligands are assessed on the ACE2/wild-type RBD. We first use molecular docking followed by molecular dynamics, to take into account the conformational flexibility that plays a significant role in ligand binding and that cannot be captured using only docking, and then analyze more precisely the affinity of these ligands using MMPBSA binding free energy. We show that both ligands bind to the ACE2/wild-type RBD interface with good affinities which might prevent the ACE2/RBD association. Second, we confirm the potency of these ligands to block the ACE2/RBD association using a combination of surface plasmon resonance and biochemical inhibition assays. These experiments confirm that TGG and, to a lesser extent, corilagin, inhibit the binding of RBD to ACE2. Both experiments and simulations show that the ligands interact preferentially with RBD, while weak binding is observed with ACE2, hence, avoiding potential physiological side-effects induced by the inhibition of ACE2. In addition to the wild-type RBD, we also study numerically three RBD mutations (E484K, N501Y and E484K/N501Y) found in the main SARS-CoV-2 variants of concerns. We find that corilagin could be as effective for RBD/E484K but less effective for the RBD/N501Y and RBD/E484K-N501Y mutants, while TGG strongly binds at relevant locations to all three mutants, demonstrating the significant interest of these molecules as potential inhibitors for variants of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Gallic Acid/analogs & derivatives , Glucose/analogs & derivatives , Glucosides/chemistry , Hydrolyzable Tannins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Binding Sites , Gallic Acid/chemistry , Glucose/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Mutation , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects
17.
PLoS One ; 16(11): e0260283, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1523456

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 viral attachment and entry into host cells is mediated by a direct interaction between viral spike glycoproteins and membrane bound angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). The receptor binding motif (RBM), located within the S1 subunit of the spike protein, incorporates the majority of known ACE2 contact residues responsible for high affinity binding and associated virulence. Observation of existing crystal structures of the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (SRBD)-ACE2 interface, combined with peptide array screening, allowed us to define a series of linear native RBM-derived peptides that were selected as potential antiviral decoy sequences with the aim of directly binding ACE2 and attenuating viral cell entry. RBM1 (16mer): S443KVGGNYNYLYRLFRK458, RBM2A (25mer): E484GFNCYFPLQSYGFQPTNGVGYQPY508, RBM2B (20mer): F456NCYFPLQSYGFQPTNGVGY505 and RBM2A-Sc (25mer): NYGLQGSPFGYQETPYPFCNFVQYG. Data from fluorescence polarisation experiments suggested direct binding between RBM peptides and ACE2, with binding affinities ranging from the high nM to low µM range (Kd = 0.207-1.206 µM). However, the RBM peptides demonstrated only modest effects in preventing SRBD internalisation and showed no antiviral activity in a spike protein trimer neutralisation assay. The RBM peptides also failed to suppress S1-protein mediated inflammation in an endogenously expressing ACE2 human cell line. We conclude that linear native RBM-derived peptides are unable to outcompete viral spike protein for binding to ACE2 and therefore represent a suboptimal approach to inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 viral cell entry. These findings reinforce the notion that larger biologics (such as soluble ACE2, 'miniproteins', nanobodies and antibodies) are likely better suited as SARS-CoV-2 cell-entry inhibitors than short-sequence linear peptides.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/immunology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Peptides/pharmacology , Protein Binding/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Virus Internalization , A549 Cells , Humans , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
18.
mBio ; 12(2)2021 03 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1522913

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a recently emerged virus that causes coronavirus infectious disease 2019 (COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, like SARS-CoV-1, uses the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a cellular receptor to initiate infection. Compounds that interfere with the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain protein (RBD)-ACE2 receptor interaction may function as entry inhibitors. Here, we used a dual strategy of molecular docking and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) screening of compound libraries to identify those that bind to human ACE2 or the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (RBD). Molecular modeling screening interrogated 57,641 compounds and focused on the region of ACE2 that is engaged by RBD of the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein and vice versa. SPR screening used immobilized human ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein to evaluate the binding of these proteins to a library of 3,141 compounds. These combined screens identified compounds from these libraries that bind at KD (equilibrium dissociation constant) <3 µM affinity to their respective targets, 17 for ACE2 and 6 for SARS-CoV-2 RBD. Twelve ACE2 binders and six of the RBD binders compete with the RBD-ACE2 interaction in an SPR-based competition assay. These compounds included registered drugs and dyes used in biomedical applications. A Vero-E6 cell-based SARS-CoV-2 infection assay was used to evaluate infection blockade by candidate entry inhibitors. Three compounds demonstrated dose-dependent antiviral in vitro potency-Evans blue, sodium lifitegrast, and lumacaftor. This study has identified potential drugs for repurposing as SARS-CoV-2 entry inhibitors or as chemical scaffolds for drug development.IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, has caused more than 60 million cases worldwide with almost 1.5 million deaths as of November 2020. Repurposing existing drugs is the most rapid path to clinical intervention for emerging diseases. Using an in silico screen of 57,641 compounds and a biophysical screen of 3,141 compounds, we identified 22 compounds that bound to either the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and/or the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein receptor binding domain (SARS-CoV-2 spike protein RBD). Nine of these drugs were identified by both screening methods. Three of the identified compounds, Evans blue, sodium lifitegrast, and lumacaftor, were found to inhibit viral replication in a Vero-E6 cell-based SARS-CoV-2 infection assay and may have utility as repurposed therapeutics. All 22 identified compounds provide scaffolds for the development of new chemical entities for the treatment of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Attachment/drug effects , Virus Replication/drug effects , Aminopyridines/pharmacology , Animals , Benzodioxoles/pharmacology , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Drug Repositioning , Evans Blue/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Phenylalanine/analogs & derivatives , Phenylalanine/pharmacology , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Sulfones/pharmacology , Surface Plasmon Resonance , Vero Cells
19.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 22195, 2021 11 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1514424

ABSTRACT

To initiate SARS-CoV-2 infection, the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) on the viral spike protein must first bind to the host receptor ACE2 protein on pulmonary and other ACE2-expressing cells. We hypothesized that cardiac glycoside drugs might block the binding reaction between ACE2 and the Spike (S) protein, and thus block viral penetration into target cells. To test this hypothesis we developed a biochemical assay for ACE2:Spike binding, and tested cardiac glycosides as inhibitors of binding. Here we report that ouabain, digitoxin, and digoxin, as well as sugar-free derivatives digitoxigenin and digoxigenin, are high-affinity competitive inhibitors of ACE2 binding to the Original [D614] S1 and the α/ß/γ [D614G] S1 proteins. These drugs also inhibit ACE2 binding to the Original RBD, as well as to RBD proteins containing the ß [E484K], Mink [Y453F] and α/ß/γ [N501Y] mutations. As hypothesized, we also found that ouabain, digitoxin and digoxin blocked penetration by SARS-CoV-2 Spike-pseudotyped virus into human lung cells, and infectivity by native SARS-CoV-2. These data indicate that cardiac glycosides may block viral penetration into the target cell by first inhibiting ACE2:RBD binding. Clinical concentrations of ouabain and digitoxin are relatively safe for short term use for subjects with normal hearts. It has therefore not escaped our attention that these common cardiac medications could be deployed worldwide as inexpensive repurposed drugs for anti-COVID-19 therapy.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cardiotonic Agents/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Digitoxin/pharmacology , Digoxin/pharmacology , Humans , Lung/drug effects , Lung/metabolism , Ouabain/pharmacology , Protein Binding/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Vero Cells
20.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 21725, 2021 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504567

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 enters the intestine by the spike protein binding to angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors in enterocyte apical membranes, leading to diarrhea in some patients. Early treatment of COVID-19-associated diarrhea could relieve symptoms and limit viral spread within the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Diosmectite, an aluminomagnesium silicate adsorbent clay with antidiarrheal effects, is recommended in some COVID-19 management protocols. In rotavirus models, diosmectite prevents pathogenic effects by binding the virus and its enterotoxin. We tested the trapping and anti-inflammatory properties of diosmectite in a SARS-CoV-2 model. Trapping effects were tested in Caco-2 cells using spike protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) and heat-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 preparations. Trapping was assessed by immunofluorescence, alone or in the presence of cells. The effect of diosmectite on nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB) activation and CXCL10 secretion induced by the spike protein RBD and heat-inactivated SARS-CoV-2 were analyzed by Western blot and ELISA, respectively. Diosmectite bound the spike protein RBD and SARS-CoV-2 preparation, and inhibited interaction of the spike protein RBD with ACE2 receptors on the Caco-2 cell surface. Diosmectite exposure also inhibited NF-kappaB activation and CXCL10 secretion. These data provide direct evidence that diosmectite can bind SARS-CoV-2 components and inhibit downstream inflammation, supporting a mechanistic rationale for consideration of diosmectite as a management option for COVID-19-associated diarrhea.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Chemokine CXCL10/metabolism , NF-kappa B p50 Subunit/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Silicates/chemistry , Adsorption , Aluminum Compounds/chemistry , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Anti-Inflammatory Agents , Binding Sites , Caco-2 Cells , Chromatography, Liquid , Clay , Diarrhea/etiology , Diarrhea/therapy , Enterocytes/metabolism , Gastroenterology , Humans , Magnesium Compounds/chemistry , Mass Spectrometry , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding/drug effects , Protein Domains , Rotavirus , Silicates/metabolism
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