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1.
J Med Chem ; 65(1): 876-884, 2022 01 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1606194

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a global health threat, was caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 papain-like cysteine protease (PLpro) was recognized as a promising drug target because of multiple functions in virus maturation and antiviral immune responses. Inhibitor GRL0617 occupied the interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) C-terminus-binding pocket and showed an effective antiviral inhibition. Here, we described a novel peptide-drug conjugate (PDC), in which GRL0617 was linked to a sulfonium-tethered peptide derived from PLpro-specific substrate LRGG. The EM-C and EC-M PDCs showed a promising in vitro IC50 of 7.40 ± 0.37 and 8.63 ± 0.55 µM, respectively. EC-M could covalently label PLpro active site C111 and display anti-ISGylation activities in cellular assays. The results represent the first attempt to design PDCs composed of stabilized peptide inhibitors and GRL0617 to inhibit PLpro. These novel PDCs provide promising opportunities for antiviral drug design.


Subject(s)
Aniline Compounds/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Benzamides/chemistry , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Drug Design , Naphthalenes/chemistry , Peptides/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Aniline Compounds/metabolism , Aniline Compounds/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Benzamides/metabolism , Benzamides/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cell Line , Cell Survival/drug effects , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Cytokines/chemistry , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Humans , Inhibitory Concentration 50 , Naphthalenes/metabolism , Naphthalenes/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Ubiquitins/chemistry
2.
J Phys Chem Lett ; 12(23): 5608-5615, 2021 Jun 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1263456

ABSTRACT

Papain-like protease (PLpro) from SARS-CoV-2 plays essential roles in the replication cycle of the virus. In particular, it preferentially interacts with and cleaves human interferon-stimulated gene 15 (hISG15) to suppress the innate immune response of the host. We used small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering combined with computational techniques to study the mechanism of interaction of SARS-CoV-2 PLpro with hISG15. We showed that hISG15 undergoes a transition from an extended to a compact state after binding to PLpro, a conformation that has not been previously observed in complexes of SARS-CoV-2 PLpro with ISG15 from other species. Furthermore, computational analysis showed significant conformational flexibility in the ISG15 N-terminal domain, suggesting that it is weakly bound to PLpro and supports a binding mechanism that is dominated by the C-terminal ISG15 domain. This study fundamentally improves our understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 deISGylation complex that will help guide development of COVID-19 therapeutics targeting this complex.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Cytokines/chemistry , Cytokines/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Ubiquitins/chemistry , Ubiquitins/metabolism , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/genetics , Cytokines/genetics , Humans , Neutron Diffraction , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Scattering, Small Angle , Ubiquitins/genetics , X-Ray Diffraction
3.
Nature ; 587(7835): 657-662, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691112

ABSTRACT

The papain-like protease PLpro is an essential coronavirus enzyme that is required for processing viral polyproteins to generate a functional replicase complex and enable viral spread1,2. PLpro is also implicated in cleaving proteinaceous post-translational modifications on host proteins as an evasion mechanism against host antiviral immune responses3-5. Here we perform biochemical, structural and functional characterization of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) PLpro (SCoV2-PLpro) and outline differences with SARS-CoV PLpro (SCoV-PLpro) in regulation of host interferon and NF-κB pathways. SCoV2-PLpro and SCoV-PLpro share 83% sequence identity but exhibit different host substrate preferences; SCoV2-PLpro preferentially cleaves the ubiquitin-like interferon-stimulated gene 15 protein (ISG15), whereas SCoV-PLpro predominantly targets ubiquitin chains. The crystal structure of SCoV2-PLpro in complex with ISG15 reveals distinctive interactions with the amino-terminal ubiquitin-like domain of ISG15, highlighting the high affinity and specificity of these interactions. Furthermore, upon infection, SCoV2-PLpro contributes to the cleavage of ISG15 from interferon responsive factor 3 (IRF3) and attenuates type I interferon responses. Notably, inhibition of SCoV2-PLpro with GRL-0617 impairs the virus-induced cytopathogenic effect, maintains the antiviral interferon pathway and reduces viral replication in infected cells. These results highlight a potential dual therapeutic strategy in which targeting of SCoV2-PLpro can suppress SARS-CoV-2 infection and promote antiviral immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Immunity, Innate , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Cytokines/chemistry , Cytokines/metabolism , Deubiquitinating Enzymes/antagonists & inhibitors , Deubiquitinating Enzymes/chemistry , Deubiquitinating Enzymes/metabolism , Humans , Interferon Regulatory Factor-3/metabolism , Interferons/immunology , Interferons/metabolism , Mice , Models, Molecular , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , NF-kappa B/immunology , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Ubiquitination , Ubiquitins/chemistry , Ubiquitins/metabolism
4.
ACS Infect Dis ; 6(8): 2099-2109, 2020 08 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-324460

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent for COVID-19, is a novel human betacoronavirus that is rapidly spreading worldwide. The outbreak currently includes over 3.7 million cases and 260,000 fatalities. As a betacoronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 encodes for a papain-like protease (PLpro) that is likely responsible for cleavage of the coronavirus (CoV) viral polypeptide. The PLpro is also responsible for suppression of host innate immune responses by virtue of its ability to reverse host ubiquitination and ISGylation events. Here, the biochemical activity of SARS-CoV-2 PLpro against ubiquitin (Ub) and interferon-stimulated gene product 15 (ISG15) substrates is evaluated, revealing that the protease has a marked reduction in its ability to process K48 linked Ub substrates compared to its counterpart in SARS-CoV. Additionally, its substrate activity more closely mirrors that of the PLpro from the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus and prefers ISG15s from certain species including humans. Additionally, naphthalene based PLpro inhibitors are shown to be effective at halting SARS-CoV-2 PLpro activity as well as SARS-CoV-2 replication.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/enzymology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Deubiquitinating Enzymes/antagonists & inhibitors , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Ubiquitin/metabolism , Ubiquitins/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , Animals , Binding Sites , COVID-19 , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cytokines/antagonists & inhibitors , Cytokines/chemistry , Humans , Naphthalenes/pharmacology , Pandemics , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , SARS-CoV-2 , Substrate Specificity , Ubiquitins/antagonists & inhibitors , Ubiquitins/chemistry , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Virus Replication/drug effects
5.
Antiviral Res ; 174: 104661, 2020 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-15315

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus papain-like proteases (PLPs or PLpro), such as the one encoded in the genome of the infectious Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus, have multiple enzymatic activities that promote viral infection. PLpro acts as a protease and processes the large coronavirus polyprotein for virus replication. PLpro also functions as both a deubiquitinating (DUB) and deISGylating (deISG) enzyme and removes ubiquitin (Ub) and interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) from cellular proteins. Both DUB and deISG activities are implicated in suppressing innate immune responses; however, the precise role of each activity in this process is still unclear due in part to the difficulties in separating each activity. In this study, we determine the first structure of MERS PLpro in complex with the full-length human ISG15 to a resolution of 2.3 Å. This structure and available structures of MERS PLpro-Ub complexes were used as molecular guides to design PLpro mutants that lack either or both DUB/deISG activities. We tested 13 different PLpro mutants for protease, DUB, and deISG activitites using fluorescence-based assays. Results show that we can selectively modulate DUB activity at amino acid positions 1649 and 1653 while mutation of Val1691 or His1652 of PLpro to a positive charged residue completely impairs both DUB/deISG activities. These mutant enzymes will provide new functional tools for delineating the importance of DUB versus deISG activity in virus-infected cells and may serve as potential candidates for attenuating the MERS virus in vivo for modified vaccine design efforts.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/metabolism , Cysteine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Cytokines/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/enzymology , Ubiquitins/metabolism , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Cysteine Endopeptidases/chemistry , Cysteine Endopeptidases/genetics , Cytokines/chemistry , Cytokines/genetics , Host-Parasite Interactions , Humans , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/genetics , Protein Binding , Protein Processing, Post-Translational , Ubiquitin , Ubiquitins/chemistry , Ubiquitins/genetics , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/chemistry , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/genetics
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