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1.
Molecules ; 26(20)2021 Oct 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1480881

ABSTRACT

We performed an in silico, in vitro, and in vivo assessment of a potassium 2-[2-(2-oxo-4-phenylpyrrolidin-1-yl) acetamido]ethanesulfonate (compound 1) as a potential prodrug for cognitive function improvement in ischemic brain injury. Using in silico methods, we predicted the pharmacological efficacy and possible safety in rat models. In addition, in silico data showed neuroprotective features of compound 1, which were further supported by in vitro experiments in a glutamate excitotoxicity-induced model in newborn rat cortical neuron cultures. Next, we checked whether compound 1 is capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier in intact and ischemic animals. Compound 1 improved animal behavior both in intact and ischemic rats and, even though the concentration in intact brains was low, we still observed a significant anxiety reduction and activity escalation. We used molecular docking and molecular dynamics to support our hypothesis that compound 1 could affect the AMPA receptor function. In a rat model of acute focal cerebral ischemia, we studied the effects of compound 1 on the behavior and neurological deficit. An in vivo experiment demonstrated that compound 1 significantly reduced the neurological deficit and improved neurological symptom regression, exploratory behavior, and anxiety. Thus, here, for the first time, we show that compound 1 can be considered as an agent for restoring cognitive functions.


Subject(s)
Ischemic Stroke/drug therapy , Pyrrolidines/chemistry , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , Animals , Behavior, Animal/drug effects , Brain Ischemia , Cognition/drug effects , Cognition/physiology , Disease Models, Animal , Glutamic Acid/pharmacology , Infarction, Middle Cerebral Artery , Ischemic Stroke/physiopathology , Male , Molecular Docking Simulation , Neurons/drug effects , Neuroprotective Agents/pharmacology , Primary Cell Culture , Pyrrolidines/chemical synthesis , Rats , Rats, Wistar , Stroke
2.
Eur J Med Chem ; 222: 113584, 2021 Oct 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1252810

ABSTRACT

Replication of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus causing COVID-19, requires a main protease (Mpro) to cleave viral proteins. Consequently, Mpro is a target for antiviral agents. We and others previously demonstrated that GC376, a bisulfite prodrug with efficacy as an anti-coronaviral agent in animals, is an effective inhibitor of Mpro in SARS-CoV-2. Here, we report structure-activity studies of improved GC376 derivatives with nanomolar affinities and therapeutic indices >200. Crystallographic structures of inhibitor-Mpro complexes reveal that an alternative binding pocket in Mpro, S4, accommodates the P3 position. Alternative binding is induced by polar P3 groups or a nearby methyl. NMR and solubility studies with GC376 show that it exists as a mixture of stereoisomers and forms colloids in aqueous media at higher concentrations, a property not previously reported. Replacement of its Na+ counter ion with choline greatly increases solubility. The physical, biochemical, crystallographic, and cellular data reveal new avenues for Mpro inhibitor design.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Sulfonic Acids/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Binding Sites , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/metabolism , Humans , Micelles , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Molecular Structure , Protein Binding , Pyrrolidines/chemical synthesis , Pyrrolidines/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Solubility , Structure-Activity Relationship , Sulfonic Acids/chemical synthesis , Sulfonic Acids/metabolism , Vero Cells
3.
J Med Chem ; 65(4): 2848-2865, 2022 02 24.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1199254

ABSTRACT

The main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 is a validated antiviral drug target. Several Mpro inhibitors have been reported with potent enzymatic inhibition and cellular antiviral activity, including GC376, boceprevir, calpain inhibitors II, and XII, with each containing a reactive warhead that covalently modifies the catalytic Cys145. Coupling structure-based drug design with the one-pot Ugi four-component reaction, we discovered one of the most potent noncovalent inhibitors, 23R (Jun8-76-3A) that is structurally distinct from the canonical Mpro inhibitor GC376. Significantly, 23R is highly selective compared with covalent inhibitors such as GC376, especially toward host proteases. The cocrystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro with 23R revealed a previously unexplored binding site located in between the S2 and S4 pockets. Overall, this study discovered 23R, one of the most potent and selective noncovalent SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors reported to date, and a novel binding pocket in Mpro that can be explored for inhibitor design.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Drug Design , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/metabolism , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/isolation & purification , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Cysteine Proteinase Inhibitors/chemistry , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Humans , Microbial Sensitivity Tests , Models, Molecular , Molecular Structure , Proline/analogs & derivatives , Proline/chemical synthesis , Proline/chemistry , Proline/pharmacology , Pyrrolidines/chemical synthesis , Pyrrolidines/chemistry , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Sulfonic Acids/chemical synthesis , Sulfonic Acids/chemistry , Sulfonic Acids/pharmacology , Vero Cells
4.
J Biol Chem ; 296: 100470, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1101336

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a major threat to global health. Vaccines are ideal solutions to prevent infection, but treatments are also needed for those who have contracted the virus to limit negative outcomes, when vaccines are not applicable. Viruses must cross host cell membranes during their life cycle, creating a dependency on processes involving membrane dynamics. Thus, in this study, we examined whether the synthetic machinery for glycosphingolipids, biologically active components of cell membranes, can serve as a therapeutic target to combat SARS-CoV-2. We examined the antiviral effect of two specific inhibitors of glucosylceramide synthase (GCS): (i) Genz-123346, an analogue of the United States Food and Drug Administration-approved drug Cerdelga and (ii) GENZ-667161, an analogue of venglustat, which is currently under phase III clinical trials. We found that both GCS inhibitors inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2. Moreover, these inhibitors also disrupt replication of influenza virus A/PR/8/34 (H1N1). Our data imply that synthesis of glycosphingolipids is necessary to support viral life cycles and suggest that GCS inhibitors should be further explored as antiviral therapies.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Carbamates/pharmacology , Dioxanes/pharmacology , Glucosyltransferases/antagonists & inhibitors , Glycosphingolipids/antagonists & inhibitors , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/drug effects , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , Quinuclidines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemical synthesis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19/virology , Carbamates/chemical synthesis , Cell Membrane/drug effects , Cell Membrane/enzymology , Cell Membrane/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Clinical Trials, Phase III as Topic , Dioxanes/chemical synthesis , Dogs , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , Enzyme Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Gene Expression Regulation , Glucosyltransferases/genetics , Glucosyltransferases/metabolism , Glycosphingolipids/biosynthesis , Host-Pathogen Interactions/genetics , Humans , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/growth & development , Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype/metabolism , Influenza, Human/drug therapy , Influenza, Human/enzymology , Influenza, Human/virology , Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells , Pyrrolidines/chemical synthesis , Quinuclidines/chemical synthesis , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Signal Transduction , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
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