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1.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(9)2022 May 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1820295

ABSTRACT

Lipid modification of viral proteins with fatty acids of different lengths (S-acylation) is crucial for virus pathogenesis. The reaction is catalyzed by members of the DHHC family and proceeds in two steps: the autoacylation is followed by the acyl chain transfer onto protein substrates. The crystal structure of human DHHC20 (hDHHC20), an enzyme involved in the acylation of S-protein of SARS-CoV-2, revealed that the acyl chain may be inserted into a hydrophobic cavity formed by four transmembrane (TM) α-helices. To test this model, we used molecular dynamics of membrane-embedded hDHHC20 and its mutants either in the absence or presence of various acyl-CoAs. We found that among a range of acyl chain lengths probed only C16 adopts a conformation suitable for hDHHC20 autoacylation. This specificity is altered if the small or bulky residues at the cavity's ceiling are exchanged, e.g., the V185G mutant obtains strong preferences for binding C18. Surprisingly, an unusual hydrophilic ridge was found in TM helix 4 of hDHHC20, and the responsive hydrophilic patch supposedly involved in association was found in the 3D model of the S-protein TM-domain trimer. Finally, the exchange of critical Thr and Ser residues in the spike led to a significant decrease in its S-acylation. Our data allow further development of peptide/lipid-based inhibitors of hDHHC20 that might impede replication of Corona- and other enveloped viruses.


Subject(s)
Acyltransferases , COVID-19 , Acyl Coenzyme A/metabolism , Acylation , Acyltransferases/metabolism , Fatty Acids/metabolism , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2 , Substrate Specificity
2.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(16): e2117142119, 2022 Apr 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1774040

ABSTRACT

SignificanceCOVID-19 is a deadly rampaging infectious disease with over 480 million cases worldwide. Unfortunately, effective therapies remain very limited. Novel antiviral agents are urgently needed to combat this global healthcare crisis. Here, we elucidate the structural basis for replicase polyprotein cleavage and substrate specificity of SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro). Through analyzing a series of high-resolution structures of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro throughout the proteolytic process, we demonstrate the molecular mechanism of Mpro in proteolytic processing that confers substrate specificity. Substrate selectivity is revealed using structures of the H41A mutant in complex with six individual native cleavage substrates. Our study underscores the mechanistic function of Mpro in the viral life cycle, which provides structural insights to develop effective inhibitors against this essential target of SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , SARS-CoV-2 , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , Polyproteins/chemistry , Protein Conformation , Proteolysis , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Substrate Specificity/genetics
3.
J Med Chem ; 65(2): 1302-1312, 2022 01 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1747278

ABSTRACT

CK2α and CK2α' are paralogous catalytic subunits of CK2, which belongs to the eukaryotic protein kinases. CK2 promotes tumorigenesis and the spread of pathogenic viruses like SARS-CoV-2 and is thus an attractive drug target. Efforts to develop selective CK2 inhibitors binding offside the ATP site had disclosed the αD pocket in CK2α; its occupation requires large conformational adaptations of the helix αD. As shown here, the αD pocket is accessible also in CK2α', where the necessary structural plasticity can be triggered with suitable ligands even in the crystalline state. A CK2α' structure with an ATP site and an αD pocket ligand guided the design of the bivalent CK2 inhibitor KN2. It binds to CK2 with low nanomolar affinity, is cell-permeable, and suppresses the intracellular phosphorylation of typical CK2 substrates. Kinase profiling revealed a high selectivity of KN2 for CK2 and emphasizes the selectivity-promoting potential of the αD pocket.


Subject(s)
Casein Kinase II/antagonists & inhibitors , Protein Kinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Adenosine Triphosphate/metabolism , Casein Kinase II/chemistry , Casein Kinase II/metabolism , Crystallization , HEK293 Cells , HeLa Cells , Humans , Ligands , Phosphorylation , Protein Conformation , Substrate Specificity
4.
Cell Chem Biol ; 29(2): 215-225.e5, 2022 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1664751

ABSTRACT

Coagulation cofactors profoundly regulate hemostasis and are appealing targets for anticoagulants. However, targeting such proteins has been challenging because they lack an active site. To address this, we isolate an RNA aptamer termed T18.3 that binds to both factor V (FV) and FVa with nanomolar affinity and demonstrates clinically relevant anticoagulant activity in both plasma and whole blood. The aptamer also shows synergy with low molecular weight heparin and delivers potent anticoagulation in plasma collected from patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Moreover, the aptamer's anticoagulant activity can be rapidly and efficiently reversed using protamine sulfate, which potentially allows fine-tuning of aptamer's activity post-administration. We further show that the aptamer achieves its anticoagulant activity by abrogating FV/FVa interactions with phospholipid membranes. Our success in generating an anticoagulant aptamer targeting FV/Va demonstrates the feasibility of using cofactor-binding aptamers as therapeutic protein inhibitors and reveals an unconventional working mechanism of an aptamer by interrupting protein-membrane interactions.


Subject(s)
Anticoagulants/pharmacology , Aptamers, Nucleotide/pharmacology , Blood Coagulation/drug effects , Factor V/antagonists & inhibitors , Factor Va/antagonists & inhibitors , Amino Acid Sequence , Anticoagulants/chemistry , Anticoagulants/metabolism , Aptamers, Nucleotide/chemistry , Aptamers, Nucleotide/metabolism , Base Pairing , Binding Sites , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , Cell Membrane/chemistry , Cell Membrane/metabolism , Factor V/chemistry , Factor V/genetics , Factor V/metabolism , Factor Va/chemistry , Factor Va/genetics , Factor Va/metabolism , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/chemistry , Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight/metabolism , Humans , Immune Sera/chemistry , Immune Sera/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acid Conformation , Protamines , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation, alpha-Helical , Protein Conformation, beta-Strand , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/growth & development , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , SELEX Aptamer Technique , Substrate Specificity
5.
Anal Chem ; 94(4): 2244-2254, 2022 02 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1625849

ABSTRACT

The cleavage-site specificities for many proteases are not well understood, restricting the utility of supervised classification methods. We present an algorithm and web interface to overcome this limitation through the unsupervised detection of overrepresented patterns in protein sequence data, providing insight into the mixture of protease activities contributing to a complex system. Here, we apply the RObust LInear Motif Deconvolution (RoLiM) algorithm to confidently detect substrate cleavage patterns for SARS-CoV-2 MPro protease in the N-terminome data of an infected human cell line. Using mass spectrometry-based peptide data from a case-control comparison of 341 primary urothelial bladder cancer cases and 110 controls, we identified distinct sequence motifs indicative of increased matrix metallopeptidase activity in urine from cancer patients. The evaluation of N-terminal peptides from patient plasma post-chemotherapy detected novel granzyme B/corin activity. RoLiM will enhance the unbiased investigation of peptide sequences to establish the composition of known and uncharacterized protease activities in biological systems. RoLiM is available at http://langelab.org/rolim/.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19 , Humans , Proteolysis , Substrate Specificity
6.
Bioorg Med Chem ; 48: 116412, 2021 10 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1620516

ABSTRACT

Peptides can be inhibitors and substrates of proteases. The present study describes the inhibitor- vs. substrate-like properties of peptidic ligands of dengue protease which were designed to provide insight into their binding modes. Of particular interest was the localization of the cleavable peptide bond and the placement of hydrophobic elements in the binding site. The findings provide clues for the design of covalent inhibitors in which electrophilic functional groups bind to the catalytic serine, and in addition for the development of inhibitors that are less basic than the natural substrate and therefore have an improved pharmacokinetic profile. We observed a tendency of basic elements to favor a substrate-like binding mode, whereas hydrophobic elements decrease or eliminate enzymatic cleavage. This indicates a necessity to include basic elements which closely mimic the natural substrates into covalent inhibitors, posing a challenge from the chemical and pharmacokinetic perspective. However, hydrophobic elements may offer opportunities to develop non-covalent inhibitors with a favorable ADME profile and potentially improved target-binding kinetics.


Subject(s)
Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Peptides/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Chromatography, Liquid , Dose-Response Relationship, Drug , HIV/enzymology , Hepacivirus/enzymology , Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions , Ligands , Mass Spectrometry , Molecular Structure , Peptides/chemical synthesis , Peptides/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemical synthesis , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Structure-Activity Relationship , Substrate Specificity
7.
Nat Mater ; 20(11): 1456-1458, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1612189
8.
J Am Chem Soc ; 143(49): 20697-20709, 2021 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550253

ABSTRACT

The main protease (Mpro) is a validated antiviral drug target of SARS-CoV-2. A number of Mpro inhibitors have now advanced to animal model study and human clinical trials. However, one issue yet to be addressed is the target selectivity over host proteases such as cathepsin L. In this study we describe the rational design of covalent SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors with novel cysteine reactive warheads including dichloroacetamide, dibromoacetamide, tribromoacetamide, 2-bromo-2,2-dichloroacetamide, and 2-chloro-2,2-dibromoacetamide. The promising lead candidates Jun9-62-2R (dichloroacetamide) and Jun9-88-6R (tribromoacetamide) had not only potent enzymatic inhibition and antiviral activity but also significantly improved target specificity over caplain and cathepsins. Compared to GC-376, these new compounds did not inhibit the host cysteine proteases including calpain I, cathepsin B, cathepsin K, cathepsin L, and caspase-3. To the best of our knowledge, they are among the most selective covalent Mpro inhibitors reported thus far. The cocrystal structures of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro with Jun9-62-2R and Jun9-57-3R reaffirmed our design hypothesis, showing that both compounds form a covalent adduct with the catalytic C145. Overall, these novel compounds represent valuable chemical probes for target validation and drug candidates for further development as SARS-CoV-2 antivirals.


Subject(s)
Acetamides/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Cathepsin L/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Design , Drug Discovery , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Humans , Models, Molecular , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Structure-Activity Relationship , Substrate Specificity
9.
RNA ; 28(2): 227-238, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1533393

ABSTRACT

The Bacillus subtilis genome is predicted to encode numerous ribonucleases, including four 3' exoribonucleases that have been characterized to some extent. A strain containing gene knockouts of all four known 3' exoribonucleases is viable, suggesting that one or more additional RNases remain to be discovered. A protein extract from the quadruple RNase mutant strain was fractionated and RNase activity was followed, resulting in the identification of an enzyme activity catalyzed by the YloC protein. YloC is an endoribonuclease and is a member of the highly conserved "YicC family" of proteins that is widespread in bacteria. YloC is a metal-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the cleavage of single-stranded RNA, preferentially at U residues, and exists in an oligomeric form, most likely a hexamer. As such, YloC shares some characteristics with the SARS-CoV Nsp15 endoribonuclease. While the in vivo function of YloC in B. subtilis is yet to be determined, YloC was found to act similarly to YicC in an Escherichia coli in vivo assay that assesses decay of the small RNA, RyhB. Thus, YloC may play a role in small RNA regulation.


Subject(s)
Bacillus subtilis/genetics , Endoribonucleases/genetics , Endoribonucleases/metabolism , Bacillus subtilis/enzymology , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , Bacterial Proteins/metabolism , Endoribonucleases/chemistry , Escherichia coli/genetics , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Escherichia coli Proteins/metabolism , Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial , Microorganisms, Genetically-Modified , Mutation , RNA Stability , RNA, Bacterial/chemistry , RNA, Bacterial/metabolism , Ribonucleases/genetics , Ribonucleases/metabolism , Substrate Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
10.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(21)2021 Oct 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1512374

ABSTRACT

Nucleoside kinases (NKs) are key enzymes involved in the in vivo phosphorylation of nucleoside analogues used as drugs to treat cancer or viral infections. Having different specificities, the characterization of NKs is essential for drug design and nucleotide analogue production in an in vitro enzymatic process. Therefore, a fast and reliable substrate screening method for NKs is of great importance. Here, we report on the validation of a well-known luciferase-based assay for the detection of NK activity in a 96-well plate format. The assay was semi-automated using a liquid handling robot. Good linearity was demonstrated (r² > 0.98) in the range of 0-500 µM ATP, and it was shown that alternative phosphate donors like dATP or CTP were also accepted by the luciferase. The developed high-throughput assay revealed comparable results to HPLC analysis. The assay was exemplarily used for the comparison of the substrate spectra of four NKs using 20 (8 natural, 12 modified) substrates. The screening results correlated well with literature data, and additionally, previously unknown substrates were identified for three of the NKs studied. Our results demonstrate that the developed semi-automated high-throughput assay is suitable to identify best performing NKs for a wide range of substrates.


Subject(s)
Nucleosides/metabolism , Phosphotransferases/metabolism , Adenosine Triphosphate/metabolism , Animals , Drosophila melanogaster/metabolism , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical/methods , High-Throughput Screening Assays/methods , Humans , Luciferases/metabolism , Phosphorylation/physiology , Substrate Specificity
11.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(43)2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493345

ABSTRACT

The host cell serine protease TMPRSS2 is an attractive therapeutic target for COVID-19 drug discovery. This protease activates the Spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and of other coronaviruses and is essential for viral spread in the lung. Utilizing rational structure-based drug design (SBDD) coupled to substrate specificity screening of TMPRSS2, we have discovered covalent small-molecule ketobenzothiazole (kbt) TMPRSS2 inhibitors which are structurally distinct from and have significantly improved activity over the existing known inhibitors Camostat and Nafamostat. Lead compound MM3122 (4) has an IC50 (half-maximal inhibitory concentration) of 340 pM against recombinant full-length TMPRSS2 protein, an EC50 (half-maximal effective concentration) of 430 pM in blocking host cell entry into Calu-3 human lung epithelial cells of a newly developed VSV-SARS-CoV-2 chimeric virus, and an EC50 of 74 nM in inhibiting cytopathic effects induced by SARS-CoV-2 virus in Calu-3 cells. Further, MM3122 blocks Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cell entry with an EC50 of 870 pM. MM3122 has excellent metabolic stability, safety, and pharmacokinetics in mice, with a half-life of 8.6 h in plasma and 7.5 h in lung tissue, making it suitable for in vivo efficacy evaluation and a promising drug candidate for COVID-19 treatment.


Subject(s)
Benzothiazoles/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Oligopeptides/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/genetics , Animals , Benzamidines/chemistry , Benzothiazoles/pharmacokinetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Drug Design , Epithelial Cells/drug effects , Epithelial Cells/virology , Esters/chemistry , Guanidines/chemistry , Humans , Lung/drug effects , Lung/virology , Mice , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Oligopeptides/pharmacokinetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Serine Endopeptidases/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/ultrastructure , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Substrate Specificity/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects
12.
J Mol Biol ; 433(24): 167324, 2021 12 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1492300

ABSTRACT

The 3C-like protease (3CLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 is a potential therapeutic target for COVID-19. Importantly, it has an abundance of structural information solved as a complex with various drug candidate compounds. Collecting these crystal structures (83 Protein Data Bank (PDB) entries) together with those of the highly homologous 3CLpro of SARS-CoV (101 PDB entries), we constructed the crystal structure ensemble of 3CLpro to analyze the dynamic regulation of its catalytic function. The structural dynamics of the 3CLpro dimer observed in the ensemble were characterized by the motions of four separate loops (the C-loop, E-loop, H-loop, and Linker) and the C-terminal domain III on the rigid core of the chymotrypsin fold. Among the four moving loops, the C-loop (also known as the oxyanion binding loop) causes the order (active)-disorder (collapsed) transition, which is regulated cooperatively by five hydrogen bonds made with the surrounding residues. The C-loop, E-loop, and Linker constitute the major ligand binding sites, which consist of a limited variety of binding residues including the substrate binding subsites. Ligand binding causes a ligand size dependent conformational change to the E-loop and Linker, which further stabilize the C-loop via the hydrogen bond between the C-loop and E-loop. The T285A mutation from SARS-CoV 3CLpro to SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro significantly closes the interface of the domain III dimer and allosterically stabilizes the active conformation of the C-loop via hydrogen bonds with Ser1 and Gly2; thus, SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro seems to have increased activity relative to that of SARS-CoV 3CLpro.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Mutation , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Proteins/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Allosteric Regulation , Binding Sites , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/genetics , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Conformation , Substrate Specificity , Viral Proteins/genetics
13.
Molecules ; 26(19)2021 Oct 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1463768

ABSTRACT

Choanoflagellates are single-celled eukaryotes with complex signaling pathways. They are considered the closest non-metazoan ancestors to mammals and other metazoans and form multicellular-like states called rosettes. The choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis contains over 150 PDZ domains, an important peptide-binding domain in all three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya). Therefore, an understanding of PDZ domain signaling pathways in choanoflagellates may provide insight into the origins of multicellularity. PDZ domains recognize the C-terminus of target proteins and regulate signaling and trafficking pathways, as well as cellular adhesion. Here, we developed a computational software suite, Domain Analysis and Motif Matcher (DAMM), that analyzes peptide-binding cleft sequence identity as compared with human PDZ domains and that can be used in combination with literature searches of known human PDZ-interacting sequences to predict target specificity in choanoflagellate PDZ domains. We used this program, protein biochemistry, fluorescence polarization, and structural analyses to characterize the specificity of A9UPE9_MONBE, a M. brevicollis PDZ domain-containing protein with no homology to any metazoan protein, finding that its PDZ domain is most similar to those of the DLG family. We then identified two endogenous sequences that bind A9UPE9 PDZ with <100 µM affinity, a value commonly considered the threshold for cellular PDZ-peptide interactions. Taken together, this approach can be used to predict cellular targets of previously uncharacterized PDZ domains in choanoflagellates and other organisms. Our data contribute to investigations into choanoflagellate signaling and how it informs metazoan evolution.


Subject(s)
Choanoflagellata/chemistry , Choanoflagellata/metabolism , Computational Biology/methods , PDZ Domains , Protein Binding , Amino Acid Sequence , Evolution, Molecular , Humans , Phylogeny , Protein Conformation , Signal Transduction , Software , Substrate Specificity
14.
Cell Rep ; 37(4): 109892, 2021 10 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458753

ABSTRACT

The main viral protease (3CLpro) is indispensable for SARS-CoV-2 replication. We delineate the human protein substrate landscape of 3CLpro by TAILS substrate-targeted N-terminomics. We identify more than 100 substrates in human lung and kidney cells supported by analyses of SARS-CoV-2-infected cells. Enzyme kinetics and molecular docking simulations of 3CLpro engaging substrates reveal how noncanonical cleavage sites, which diverge from SARS-CoV, guide substrate specificity. Cleaving the interactors of essential effector proteins, effectively stranding them from their binding partners, amplifies the consequences of proteolysis. We show that 3CLpro targets the Hippo pathway, including inactivation of MAP4K5, and key effectors of transcription, mRNA processing, and translation. We demonstrate that Spike glycoprotein directly binds galectin-8, with galectin-8 cleavage disengaging CALCOCO2/NDP52 to decouple antiviral-autophagy. Indeed, in post-mortem COVID-19 lung samples, NDP52 rarely colocalizes with galectin-8, unlike in healthy lungs. The 3CLpro substrate degradome establishes a foundational substrate atlas to accelerate exploration of SARS-CoV-2 pathology and drug design.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Humans , Substrate Specificity
15.
Sci Signal ; 14(689)2021 06 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1406596

ABSTRACT

Capping of viral messenger RNAs is essential for efficient translation, for virus replication, and for preventing detection by the host cell innate response system. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encodes the 2'-O-methyltransferase nsp16, which, when bound to the coactivator nsp10, uses S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) as a donor to transfer a methyl group to the first ribonucleotide of the mRNA in the final step of viral mRNA capping. Here, we provide biochemical and structural evidence that this reaction requires divalent cations, preferably Mn2+, and a coronavirus-specific four-residue insert. We determined the x-ray structures of the SARS-CoV-2 2'-O-methyltransferase (the nsp16-nsp10 heterodimer) in complex with its reaction substrates, products, and divalent metal cations. These structural snapshots revealed that metal ions and the insert stabilize interactions between the capped RNA and nsp16, resulting in the precise alignment of the ribonucleotides in the active site. Comparison of available structures of 2'-O-methyltransferases with capped RNAs from different organisms revealed that the four-residue insert unique to coronavirus nsp16 alters the backbone conformation of the capped RNA in the binding groove, thereby promoting catalysis. This insert is highly conserved across coronaviruses, and its absence in mammalian methyltransferases makes this region a promising site for structure-guided drug design of selective coronavirus inhibitors.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , RNA Caps/metabolism , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Catalytic Domain , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Manganese/metabolism , Methylation , Methyltransferases/chemistry , Methyltransferases/genetics , Methyltransferases/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Nucleic Acid Conformation , RNA Caps/chemistry , RNA Caps/genetics , RNA Stability , RNA, Messenger/chemistry , RNA, Messenger/genetics , RNA, Messenger/metabolism , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/chemistry , Recombinant Proteins/genetics , Recombinant Proteins/metabolism , S-Adenosylmethionine/chemistry , S-Adenosylmethionine/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Signal Transduction , Substrate Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
17.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 17810, 2021 09 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1402118

ABSTRACT

Transporters in the human liver play a major role in the clearance of endo- and xenobiotics. Apical (canalicular) transporters extrude compounds to the bile, while basolateral hepatocyte transporters promote the uptake of, or expel, various compounds from/into the venous blood stream. In the present work we have examined the in vitro interactions of some key repurposed drugs advocated to treat COVID-19 (lopinavir, ritonavir, ivermectin, remdesivir and favipiravir), with the key drug transporters of hepatocytes. These transporters included ABCB11/BSEP, ABCC2/MRP2, and SLC47A1/MATE1 in the canalicular membrane, as well as ABCC3/MRP3, ABCC4/MRP4, SLC22A1/OCT1, SLCO1B1/OATP1B1, SLCO1B3/OATP1B3, and SLC10A1/NTCP, residing in the basolateral membrane. Lopinavir and ritonavir in low micromolar concentrations inhibited BSEP and MATE1 exporters, as well as OATP1B1/1B3 uptake transporters. Ritonavir had a similar inhibitory pattern, also inhibiting OCT1. Remdesivir strongly inhibited MRP4, OATP1B1/1B3, MATE1 and OCT1. Favipiravir had no significant effect on any of these transporters. Since both general drug metabolism and drug-induced liver toxicity are strongly dependent on the functioning of these transporters, the various interactions reported here may have important clinical relevance in the drug treatment of this viral disease and the existing co-morbidities.


Subject(s)
ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 11/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Liver-Specific Organic Anion Transporter 1/metabolism , Liver/drug effects , Organic Cation Transport Proteins/metabolism , ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 11/antagonists & inhibitors , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/metabolism , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/chemistry , Alanine/metabolism , Alanine/pharmacology , Alanine/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Comorbidity , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Liver/metabolism , Liver/pathology , Liver-Specific Organic Anion Transporter 1/antagonists & inhibitors , Lopinavir/chemistry , Lopinavir/metabolism , Lopinavir/pharmacology , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Organic Cation Transport Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Ritonavir/chemistry , Ritonavir/metabolism , Ritonavir/pharmacology , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Substrate Specificity
18.
Cell Rep ; 36(13): 109754, 2021 09 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1401298

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLpro) is a target for antiviral drug development. It is essential for processing viral polyproteins for replication and functions in host immune evasion by cleaving ubiquitin (Ub) and ubiquitin-like protein (Ubl) conjugates. While highly conserved, SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV PLpro have contrasting Ub/Ubl substrate preferences. Using a combination of structural analyses and functional assays, we identify a molecular sensor within the S1 Ub-binding site of PLpro that serves as a key determinant of substrate specificity. Variations within the S1 sensor specifically alter cleavage of Ub substrates but not of the Ubl interferon-stimulated gene 15 protein (ISG15). Significantly, a variant of concern associated with immune evasion carries a mutation in the S1 sensor that enhances PLpro activity on Ub substrates. Collectively, our data identify the S1 sensor region as a potential hotspot of variability that could alter host antiviral immune responses to newly emerging SARS-CoV-2 lineages.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/ultrastructure , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Amino Acid Sequence/genetics , Binding Sites/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Papain/chemistry , Papain/metabolism , Peptide Hydrolases/chemistry , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , Protein Binding/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Substrate Specificity/genetics , Ubiquitin/metabolism , Ubiquitins/metabolism , Viral Proteins/metabolism
19.
Viruses ; 13(9)2021 08 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390783

ABSTRACT

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic exemplifies the general need to better understand viral infections. The positive single-strand RNA genome of its causative agent, the SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), encodes all viral enzymes. In this work, we focused on one particular methyltransferase (MTase), nsp16, which, in complex with nsp10, is capable of methylating the first nucleotide of a capped RNA strand at the 2'-O position. This process is part of a viral capping system and is crucial for viral evasion of the innate immune reaction. In light of recently discovered non-canonical RNA caps, we tested various dinucleoside polyphosphate-capped RNAs as substrates for nsp10-nsp16 MTase. We developed an LC-MS-based method and discovered four types of capped RNA (m7Gp3A(G)- and Gp3A(G)-RNA) that are substrates of the nsp10-nsp16 MTase. Our technique is an alternative to the classical isotope labelling approach for the measurement of 2'-O-MTase activity. Further, we determined the IC50 value of sinefungin to illustrate the use of our approach for inhibitor screening. In the future, this approach may be an alternative technique to the radioactive labelling method for screening inhibitors of any type of 2'-O-MTase.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Methyltransferases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , Chromatography, Liquid , Gene Expression Regulation, Viral , Humans , Mass Spectrometry , Methylation , Methyltransferases/genetics , RNA Caps , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Substrate Specificity , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/genetics
20.
Molecules ; 26(17)2021 Sep 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1390702

ABSTRACT

Human neutrophil elastase (HNE) is a uniquely destructive serine protease with the ability to unleash a wave of proteolytic activity by destroying the inhibitors of other proteases. Although this phenomenon forms an important part of the innate immune response to invading pathogens, it is responsible for the collateral host tissue damage observed in chronic conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and in more acute disorders such as the lung injuries associated with COVID-19 infection. Previously, a combinatorially selected activity-based probe revealed an unexpected substrate preference for oxidised methionine, which suggests a link to oxidative pathogen clearance by neutrophils. Here we use oxidised model substrates and inhibitors to confirm this observation and to show that neutrophil elastase is specifically selective for the di-oxygenated methionine sulfone rather than the mono-oxygenated methionine sulfoxide. We also posit a critical role for ordered solvent in the mechanism of HNE discrimination between the two oxidised forms methionine residue. Preference for the sulfone form of oxidised methionine is especially significant. While both host and pathogens have the ability to reduce methionine sulfoxide back to methionine, a biological pathway to reduce methionine sulfone is not known. Taken together, these data suggest that the oxidative activity of neutrophils may create rapidly cleaved elastase "super substrates" that directly damage tissue, while initiating a cycle of neutrophil oxidation that increases elastase tissue damage and further neutrophil recruitment.


Subject(s)
Immunity, Innate , Leukocyte Elastase/metabolism , Methionine/analogs & derivatives , Neutrophils/immunology , Biocatalysis , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain/genetics , Enzyme Assays , Host-Pathogen Interactions/immunology , Humans , Leukocyte Elastase/antagonists & inhibitors , Leukocyte Elastase/genetics , Lung/immunology , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Methionine/metabolism , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Neutrophil Infiltration , Neutrophils/enzymology , Oxidation-Reduction/drug effects , Proteolysis/drug effects , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/immunology , Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Substrate Specificity/immunology
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