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1.
J Virol Methods ; 298: 114283, 2021 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1428226

ABSTRACT

The SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) is essential for virus replication, therefore it is a promising drug target. Here we present a surface plasmon resonance approach to study the interaction of RdRp with drugs in real time. We monitored the effect of favipiravir, ribavirin, sofosbuvir triphosphate PSI-7409 and suramin on RdRp binding to RNA immobilized on the chip. Suramin precluded interaction of RdRp with RNA and even displaced RdRp from RNA.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Interactions , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Suramin/pharmacology , Surface Plasmon Resonance
2.
J Chem Inf Model ; 61(9): 4442-4454, 2021 09 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1404870

ABSTRACT

The emergence of new viral infections and drug-resistant bacteria urgently necessitates expedient therapeutic development. Repurposing and redesign of existing drugs against different targets are one potential way in which to accelerate this process. Suramin was initially developed as a successful antiparasitic drug but has also shown promising antiviral and antibacterial activities. However, due to its high conformational flexibility and negative charge, suramin is considered quite promiscuous toward positively charged sites within nucleic acid binding proteins. Although some suramin analogs have been developed against specific targets, only limited structure-activity relationship studies were performed, and virtual screening has yet to be used to identify more specific inhibitor(s) based on its scaffold. Using available structures, we investigated suramin's target diversity, confirming that suramin preferentially binds to protein pockets that are both positively charged and enriched in aromatic or leucine residues. Further, suramin's high conformational flexibility allows adaptation to structurally diverse binding surfaces. From this platform, we developed a framework for structure- and docking-guided elaboration of suramin analog scaffolds using virtual screening of suramin and heparin analogs against a panel of diverse therapeutically relevant viral and bacterial protein targets. Use of this new framework to design potentially specific suramin analogs is exemplified using the SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and nucleocapsid protein, identifying leads that might inhibit a wide range of coronaviruses. The approach presented here establishes a computational framework for designing suramin analogs against different bacterial and viral targets and repurposing existing drugs for more specific inhibitory activity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Suramin , Anti-Bacterial Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Humans , RNA, Viral , SARS-CoV-2 , Suramin/pharmacology
3.
Biochem J ; 478(13): 2405-2423, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1292181

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a global public health challenge. While the efficacy of vaccines against emerging and future virus variants remains unclear, there is a need for therapeutics. Repurposing existing drugs represents a promising and potentially rapid opportunity to find novel antivirals against SARS-CoV-2. The virus encodes at least nine enzymatic activities that are potential drug targets. Here, we have expressed, purified and developed enzymatic assays for SARS-CoV-2 nsp13 helicase, a viral replication protein that is essential for the coronavirus life cycle. We screened a custom chemical library of over 5000 previously characterized pharmaceuticals for nsp13 inhibitors using a fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based high-throughput screening approach. From this, we have identified FPA-124 and several suramin-related compounds as novel inhibitors of nsp13 helicase activity in vitro. We describe the efficacy of these drugs using assays we developed to monitor SARS-CoV-2 growth in Vero E6 cells.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , RNA Helicases/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Animals , Chlorocebus aethiops , Enzyme Assays , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , High-Throughput Screening Assays , RNA Helicases/metabolism , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Suramin/pharmacology , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
4.
Viruses ; 13(5)2021 05 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1290361

ABSTRACT

Since the first report of a new pneumonia disease in December 2019 (Wuhan, China) the WHO reported more than 148 million confirmed cases and 3.1 million losses globally up to now. The causative agent of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has spread worldwide, resulting in a pandemic of unprecedented magnitude. To date, several clinically safe and efficient vaccines (e.g., Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines) as well as drugs for emergency use have been approved. However, increasing numbers of SARS-Cov-2 variants make it imminent to identify an alternative way to treat SARS-CoV-2 infections. A well-known strategy to identify molecules with inhibitory potential against SARS-CoV-2 proteins is repurposing clinically developed drugs, e.g., antiparasitic drugs. The results described in this study demonstrated the inhibitory potential of quinacrine and suramin against SARS-CoV-2 main protease (3CLpro). Quinacrine and suramin molecules presented a competitive and noncompetitive inhibition mode, respectively, with IC50 values in the low micromolar range. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) experiments demonstrated that quinacrine and suramin alone possessed a moderate or weak affinity with SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro but suramin binding increased quinacrine interaction by around a factor of eight. Using docking and molecular dynamics simulations, we identified a possible binding mode and the amino acids involved in these interactions. Our results suggested that suramin, in combination with quinacrine, showed promising synergistic efficacy to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro. We suppose that the identification of effective, synergistic drug combinations could lead to the design of better treatments for the COVID-19 disease and repurposable drug candidates offer fast therapeutic breakthroughs, mainly in a pandemic moment.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/drug effects , Quinacrine/pharmacology , Suramin/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19 Vaccines/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Pandemics , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Quinacrine/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Suramin/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins
5.
Biochem J ; 478(13): 2425-2443, 2021 07 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1289982

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) global pandemic has turned into the largest public health and economic crisis in recent history impacting virtually all sectors of society. There is a need for effective therapeutics to battle the ongoing pandemic. Repurposing existing drugs with known pharmacological safety profiles is a fast and cost-effective approach to identify novel treatments. The COVID-19 etiologic agent is the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus. Coronaviruses rely on the enzymatic activity of the replication-transcription complex (RTC) to multiply inside host cells. The RTC core catalytic component is the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) holoenzyme. The RdRp is one of the key druggable targets for CoVs due to its essential role in viral replication, high degree of sequence and structural conservation and the lack of homologues in human cells. Here, we have expressed, purified and biochemically characterised active SARS-CoV-2 RdRp complexes. We developed a novel fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based strand displacement assay for monitoring SARS-CoV-2 RdRp activity suitable for a high-throughput format. As part of a larger research project to identify inhibitors for all the enzymatic activities encoded by SARS-CoV-2, we used this assay to screen a custom chemical library of over 5000 approved and investigational compounds for novel SARS-CoV-2 RdRp inhibitors. We identified three novel compounds (GSK-650394, C646 and BH3I-1) and confirmed suramin and suramin-like compounds as in vitro SARS-CoV-2 RdRp activity inhibitors. We also characterised the antiviral efficacy of these drugs in cell-based assays that we developed to monitor SARS-CoV-2 growth.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Animals , Benzoates/pharmacology , Bridged Bicyclo Compounds, Heterocyclic/pharmacology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Enzyme Assays , Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer , High-Throughput Screening Assays , Holoenzymes/metabolism , Reproducibility of Results , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/chemistry , Suramin/pharmacology , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism
6.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0251649, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1262542

ABSTRACT

Until now, antiviral therapeutic agents are still urgently required for treatment or prevention of SARS-coronavirus 2 (SCoV-2) virus infection. In this study, we established a sensitive SCoV-2 Spike glycoprotein (SP), including an SP mutant D614G, pseudotyped HIV-1-based vector system and tested their ability to infect ACE2-expressing cells. Based on this system, we have demonstrated that an aqueous extract from the Natural herb Prunella vulgaris (NhPV) displayed potent inhibitory effects on SCoV-2 SP (including SPG614 mutant) pseudotyped virus (SCoV-2-SP-PVs) mediated infections. Moreover, we have compared NhPV with another compound, Suramin, for their anti-SARS-CoV-2 activities and the mode of their actions, and found that both NhPV and Suramin are able to directly interrupt SCoV-2-SP binding to its receptor ACE2 and block the viral entry step. Importantly, the inhibitory effects of NhPV and Suramin were confirmed by the wild type SARS-CoV-2 (hCoV-19/Canada/ON-VIDO-01/2020) virus infection in Vero cells. Furthermore, our results also demonstrated that the combination of NhPV/Suramin with an anti-SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibody mediated a more potent blocking effect against SCoV2-SP-PVs. Overall, by using SARS-CoV-2 SP-pseudotyped HIV-1-based entry system, we provide strong evidence that NhPV and Suramin have anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity and may be developed as a novel antiviral approach against SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Prunella/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Suramin/pharmacology , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/genetics , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Animals , Antibodies, Neutralizing/pharmacology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Therapy, Combination , Humans , Mutation , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
7.
Nat Struct Mol Biol ; 28(3): 319-325, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1118814

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by nonstop infections of SARS-CoV-2 has continued to ravage many countries worldwide. Here we report that suramin, a 100-year-old drug, is a potent inhibitor of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and acts by blocking the binding of RNA to the enzyme. In biochemical assays, suramin and its derivatives are at least 20-fold more potent than remdesivir, the currently approved nucleotide drug for treatment of COVID-19. The 2.6 Å cryo-electron microscopy structure of the viral RdRp bound to suramin reveals two binding sites. One site directly blocks the binding of the RNA template strand and the other site clashes with the RNA primer strand near the RdRp catalytic site, thus inhibiting RdRp activity. Suramin blocks viral replication in Vero E6 cells, although the reasons underlying this effect are likely various. Our results provide a structural mechanism for a nonnucleotide inhibitor of the SARS-CoV-2 RdRp.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Suramin/pharmacology , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Binding Sites , Catalytic Domain , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Cryoelectron Microscopy , Enzyme Inhibitors/chemistry , Enzyme Inhibitors/metabolism , Protein Conformation , RNA, Viral/chemistry , RNA, Viral/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Suramin/chemistry , Suramin/metabolism , Vero Cells , Virus Replication/drug effects
8.
Antimicrob Agents Chemother ; 64(8)2020 07 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-574704

ABSTRACT

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic that originated in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 has impacted public health, society, the global economy, and the daily lives of billions of people in an unprecedented manner. There are currently no specific registered antiviral drugs to treat or prevent SARS-CoV-2 infections. Therefore, drug repurposing would be the fastest route to provide at least a temporary solution while better, more specific drugs are being developed. Here, we demonstrate that the antiparasitic drug suramin inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication, protecting Vero E6 cells with a 50% effective concentration (EC50) of ∼20 µM, which is well below the maximum attainable level in human serum. Suramin also decreased the viral load by 2 to 3 logs when Vero E6 cells or cells of a human lung epithelial cell line (Calu-3 2B4 [referred to here as "Calu-3"]) were treated. Time-of-addition and plaque reduction assays performed on Vero E6 cells showed that suramin acts on early steps of the replication cycle, possibly preventing binding or entry of the virus. In a primary human airway epithelial cell culture model, suramin also inhibited the progression of infection. The results of our preclinical study warrant further investigation and suggest that it is worth evaluating whether suramin provides any benefit for COVID-19 patients, which obviously requires safety studies and well-designed, properly controlled randomized clinical trials.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Betacoronavirus/drug effects , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Suramin/pharmacology , Virus Replication/drug effects , Animals , COVID-19 , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Drug Repositioning , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , Vero Cells , Viral Load/drug effects
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