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1.
Antiviral Res ; 195: 105183, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1458592

ABSTRACT

The likelihood of continued circulation of COVID-19 and its variants, and novel coronaviruses due to future zoonotic transmissions, combined with the current paucity of coronavirus antivirals, emphasize the need for improved screening in developing effective antivirals for the treatment of infection by SARS-CoV-2 (CoV2) and other coronaviruses. Here we report the development of a live-cell based assay for evaluating the intracellular function of the critical, highly-conserved CoV2 target, the Main 3C-like protease (Mpro). This assay is based on expression of native wild-type mature CoV2 Mpro, the function of which is quantitatively evaluated in living cells through cleavage of a biosensor leading to loss of fluorescence. Evaluation does not require cell harvesting, allowing for multiple measurements from the same cells facilitating quantification of Mpro inhibition, as well as recovery of function upon removal of inhibitory drugs. The pan-coronavirus Mpro inhibitor, GC376, was utilized in this assay and effective inhibition of intracellular CoV2 Mpro was found to be consistent with levels required to inhibit CoV2 infection of human lung cells. We demonstrate that GC376 is an effective inhibitor of intracellular CoV2 Mpro at low micromolar levels, while other predicted Mpro inhibitors, bepridil and alverine, are not. Results indicate this system can provide a highly effective high-throughput coronavirus Mpro screening system.


Subject(s)
Biosensing Techniques , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Sulfonic Acids/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Fluorescence , HEK293 Cells , Humans
2.
Virology ; 564: 33-38, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1447220

ABSTRACT

Endemic seasonal coronaviruses cause morbidity and mortality in a subset of patients, but no specific treatment is available. Molnupiravir is a promising pipeline antiviral drug for treating SARS-CoV-2 infection potentially by targeting RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). This study aims to evaluate the potential of repurposing molnupiravir for treating seasonal human coronavirus (HCoV) infections. Molecular docking revealed that the active form of molnupiravir, ß-D-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC), has similar binding affinity to RdRp of SARS-CoV-2 and seasonal HCoV-NL63, HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E. In cell culture models, treatment of molnupiravir effectively inhibited viral replication and production of infectious viruses of the three seasonal coronaviruses. A time-of-drug-addition experiment indicates the specificity of molnupiravir in inhibiting viral components. Furthermore, combining molnupiravir with the protease inhibitor GC376 resulted in enhanced antiviral activity. Our findings highlight that the great potential of repurposing molnupiravir for treating seasonal coronavirus infected patients.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 229E, Human/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus NL63, Human/genetics , Coronavirus OC43, Human/genetics , Cytidine/analogs & derivatives , Hydroxylamines/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Common Cold/drug therapy , Coronavirus 229E, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus 229E, Human/physiology , Coronavirus NL63, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus NL63, Human/physiology , Coronavirus OC43, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus OC43, Human/physiology , Cytidine/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Protein Binding/drug effects , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/genetics , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Seasons , Sulfonic Acids/pharmacology , Virus Replication/drug effects , Virus Replication/genetics
3.
Molecules ; 26(17)2021 Aug 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1374472

ABSTRACT

This study aims to identify and isolate the secondary metabolites of Zingiber officinale using GC-MS, preparative TLC, and LC-MS/MS methods, to evaluate the inhibitory potency on SARS-CoV-2 3 chymotrypsin-like protease enzyme, as well as to study the molecular interaction and stability by using docking and molecular dynamics simulations. GC-MS analysis suggested for the isolation of terpenoids compounds as major compounds on methanol extract of pseudostems and rhizomes. Isolation and LC-MS/MS analysis identified 5-hydro-7, 8, 2'-trimethoxyflavanone (9), (E)-hexadecyl-ferulate (1), isocyperol (2), N-isobutyl-(2E,4E)-octadecadienamide (3), and nootkatone (4) from the rhizome extract, as well as from the leaves extract with the absence of 9. Three known steroid compounds, i.e., spinasterone (7), spinasterol (8), and 24-methylcholesta-7-en-3ß-on (6), were further identified from the pseudostem extract. Molecular docking showed that steroids compounds 7, 8, and 6 have lower predictive binding energies (MMGBSA) than other metabolites with binding energy of -87.91, -78.11, and -68.80 kcal/mole, respectively. Further characterization on the single isolated compound by NMR showed that 6 was identified and possessed 75% inhibitory activity on SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease enzyme that was slightly different with the positive control GC376 (77%). MD simulations showed the complex stability with compound 6 during 100 ns simulation time.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Ginger/chemistry , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/ultrastructure , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Protease Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Crystallography, X-Ray , Enzyme Assays , Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry , Humans , Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Plant Extracts/chemistry , Plant Extracts/isolation & purification , Plant Extracts/therapeutic use , Pyrrolidines/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Structure-Activity Relationship , Sulfonic Acids/pharmacology
4.
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
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 9609, 2021 05 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1217711

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the defining global health emergency of this century. GC-376 is a Mpro inhibitor with antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Using the K18-hACE2 mouse model, the in vivo antiviral efficacy of GC-376 against SARS-CoV-2 was evaluated. GC-376 treatment was not toxic in K18-hACE2 mice. Overall outcome of clinical symptoms and survival upon SARS-CoV-2 challenge were not improved in mice treated with GC-376 compared to controls. The treatment with GC-376 slightly improved survival from 0 to 20% in mice challenged with a high virus dose at 105 TCID50/mouse. Most notably, GC-376 treatment led to milder tissue lesions, reduced viral loads, fewer presence of viral antigen, and reduced inflammation in comparison to vehicle-treated controls in mice challenged with a low virus dose at 103 TCID50/mouse. This was particularly the case in the brain where a 5-log reduction in viral titers was observed in GC-376 treated mice compared to vehicle controls. This study supports the notion that GC-376 represents a promising lead candidate for further development to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection and that the K18-hACE2 mouse model is suitable to study antiviral therapies against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Carbonates/pharmacology , Leucine/pharmacology , Sulfonic Acids/pharmacology , Animals , Brain/drug effects , Brain/pathology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Keratin-18/genetics , Lung/drug effects , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Mice, Transgenic , Vero Cells , Viral Load
6.
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
7.
ACS Infect Dis ; 7(3): 586-597, 2021 03 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1108883

ABSTRACT

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, the morbidity and mortality are increasing daily. Effective treatment for SARS-CoV-2 is urgently needed. We recently discovered four SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) inhibitors including boceprevir, calpain inhibitors II and XII, and GC-376 with potent antiviral activity against infectious SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture. In this study, we further characterized the mechanism of action of these four compounds using the SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus neutralization assay. It was found that GC-376 and calpain inhibitors II and XII have a dual mechanism of action by inhibiting both viral Mpro and host cathepsin L in Vero cells. To rule out the cell-type dependent effect, the antiviral activity of these four compounds against SARS-CoV-2 was also confirmed in type 2 transmembrane serine protease-expressing Caco-2 cells using the viral yield reduction assay. In addition, we found that these four compounds have broad-spectrum antiviral activity in inhibiting not only SARS-CoV-2 but also SARS-CoV, and MERS-CoV, as well as human coronaviruses (CoVs) 229E, OC43, and NL63. The mechanism of action is through targeting the viral Mpro, which was supported by the thermal shift-binding assay and enzymatic fluorescence resonance energy transfer assay. We further showed that these four compounds have additive antiviral effect when combined with remdesivir. Altogether, these results suggest that boceprevir, calpain inhibitors II and XII, and GC-376 might be promising starting points for further development against existing human coronaviruses as well as future emerging CoVs.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Carbonates/pharmacology , Glycoproteins/pharmacology , Leucine/pharmacology , Oligopeptides/pharmacology , Proline/analogs & derivatives , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Sulfonic Acids/pharmacology , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/pharmacology , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Caco-2 Cells , Cathepsin L/antagonists & inhibitors , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 229E, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus NL63, Human/drug effects , Coronavirus OC43, Human/drug effects , Drug Combinations , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/drug effects , Proline/pharmacology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Vero Cells
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