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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 119(16): e2117807119, 2022 04 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1784076

ABSTRACT

Zinc deficiency is commonly attributed to inadequate absorption of the metal. Instead, we show that body zinc stores in Drosophila melanogaster depend on tryptophan consumption. Hence, a dietary amino acid regulates zinc status of the whole insect­a finding consistent with the widespread requirement of zinc as a protein cofactor. Specifically, the tryptophan metabolite kynurenine is released from insect fat bodies and induces the formation of zinc storage granules in Malpighian tubules, where 3-hydroxykynurenine and xanthurenic acid act as endogenous zinc chelators. Kynurenine functions as a peripheral zinc-regulating hormone and is converted into a 3-hydroxykynurenine­zinc­chloride complex, precipitating within the storage granules. Thus, zinc and the kynurenine pathway­well-known modulators of immunity, blood pressure, aging, and neurodegeneration­are physiologically connected.


Subject(s)
Drosophila melanogaster , Kynurenine , Tryptophan , Zinc , Animals , Drosophila melanogaster/metabolism , Fat Body/metabolism , Kynurenine/metabolism , Malpighian Tubules/metabolism , Tryptophan/metabolism , Zinc/metabolism
2.
Int J Mol Sci ; 23(6)2022 Mar 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1742487

ABSTRACT

The published literature makes a very strong case that a wide range of disease morbidity associates with and may in part be due to epithelial barrier leak. An equally large body of published literature substantiates that a diverse group of micronutrients can reduce barrier leak across a wide array of epithelial tissue types, stemming from both cell culture as well as animal and human tissue models. Conversely, micronutrient deficiencies can exacerbate both barrier leak and morbidity. Focusing on zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin D, this review shows that at concentrations above RDA levels but well below toxicity limits, these micronutrients can induce cell- and tissue-specific molecular-level changes in tight junctional complexes (and by other mechanisms) that reduce barrier leak. An opportunity now exists in critical care-but also medical prophylactic and therapeutic care in general-to consider implementation of select micronutrients at elevated dosages as adjuvant therapeutics in a variety of disease management. This consideration is particularly pointed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.


Subject(s)
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/metabolism , Intestinal Mucosa/metabolism , Micronutrients/metabolism , Vitamin A/metabolism , Vitamin D/metabolism , Zinc/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Humans , Micronutrients/pharmacology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Tight Junctions/drug effects , Tight Junctions/metabolism , Vitamin A/pharmacology , Vitamin D/pharmacology , Vitamins/metabolism , Vitamins/pharmacology , Zinc/pharmacology
3.
ChemistryOpen ; 10(11): 1133-1141, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1520270

ABSTRACT

We present in this work a first X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy study of the interactions of Zn with human BST2/tetherin and SARS-CoV-2 orf7a proteins as well as with some of their complexes. The analysis of the XANES region of the measured spectra shows that Zn binds to BST2, as well as to orf7a, thus resulting in the formation of BST2-orf7a complexes. This structural information confirms the the conjecture, recently put forward by some of the present Authors, according to which the accessory orf7a (and possibly also orf8) viral protein are capable of interfering with the BST2 antiviral activity. Our explanation for this behavior is that, when BST2 gets in contact with Zn bound to the orf7a Cys15 ligand, it has the ability of displacing the metal owing to the creation of a new disulfide bridge across the two proteins. The formation of this BST2-orf7a complex destabilizes BST2 dimerization, thus impairing the antiviral activity of the latter.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Viral Proteins/metabolism , Zinc/metabolism , Cysteine/chemistry , GPI-Linked Proteins/metabolism , Histidine/chemistry , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , X-Ray Absorption Spectroscopy
4.
Molecules ; 26(21)2021 Oct 31.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1488679

ABSTRACT

Zinc is the second most abundant trace element in the human body, and it plays a fundamental role in human physiology, being an integral component of hundreds of enzymes and transcription factors. The discovery that zinc atoms may compete with copper for their absorption in the gastrointestinal tract let to introduce zinc in the therapy of Wilson's disease, a congenital disorder of copper metabolism characterized by a systemic copper storage. Nowadays, zinc salts are considered one of the best therapeutic approach in patients affected by Wilson's disease. On the basis of the similarities, at histological level, between Wilson's disease and non-alcoholic liver disease, zinc has been successfully introduced in the therapy of non-alcoholic liver disease, with positive effects both on insulin resistance and oxidative stress. Recently, zinc deficiency has been indicated as a possible factor responsible for the susceptibility of elderly patients to undergo infection by SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we present the data correlating zinc deficiency with the insurgence and progression of Covid-19 with low zinc levels associated with severe disease states. Finally, the relevance of zinc supplementation in aged people at risk for SARS-CoV-2 is underlined, with the aim that the zinc-based drug, classically used in the treatment of copper overload, might be recorded as one of the tools reducing the mortality of COVID-19, particularly in elderly people.


Subject(s)
Liver/drug effects , Liver/injuries , Zinc/pharmacology , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/drug therapy , Chelating Agents/metabolism , Copper/metabolism , Hepatolenticular Degeneration/complications , Hepatolenticular Degeneration/drug therapy , Hepatolenticular Degeneration/metabolism , Humans , Liver/metabolism , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/drug therapy , Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Zinc/deficiency , Zinc/metabolism
5.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 18851, 2021 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1434149

ABSTRACT

In this pandemic SARS-CoV-2 crisis, any attempt to contain and eliminate the virus will also stop its spread and consequently decrease the risk of severe illness and death. While ozone treatment has been suggested as an effective disinfection process, no precise mechanism of action has been previously reported. This study aimed to further investigate the effect of ozone treatment on SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, virus collected from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab and sputum samples from symptomatic patients was exposed to ozone for different exposure times. The virus morphology and structure were monitored and analyzed through Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy (AAS), and ATR-FTIR. The obtained results showed that ozone treatment not only unsettles the virus morphology but also alters the virus proteins' structure and conformation through amino acid disturbance and Zn ion release from the virus non-structural proteins. These results could provide a clearer pathway for virus elimination and therapeutics preparation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Ozone/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Humans , Microscopy, Electron, Transmission , Protein Structure, Secondary/drug effects , Protein Structure, Tertiary/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/ultrastructure , Time Factors , Viral Envelope/chemistry , Viral Envelope/drug effects , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/chemistry , Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins/metabolism , Zinc/chemistry , Zinc/metabolism
6.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(6)2021 Mar 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1389394

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 currently lacks effective first-line drug treatment. We present promising data from in silico docking studies of new Methisazone compounds (modified with calcium, Ca; iron, Fe; magnesium, Mg; manganese, Mn; or zinc, Zn) designed to bind more strongly to key proteins involved in replication of SARS-CoV-2. In this in silico molecular docking study, we investigated the inhibiting role of Methisazone and the modified drugs against SARS-CoV-2 proteins: ribonucleic acid (RNA)-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), spike protein, papain-like protease (PlPr), and main protease (MPro). We found that the highest binding interactions were found with the spike protein (6VYB), with the highest overall binding being observed with Mn-bound Methisazone at -8.3 kcal/mol, followed by Zn and Ca at -8.0 kcal/mol, and Fe and Mg at -7.9 kcal/mol. We also found that the metal-modified Methisazone had higher affinity for PlPr and MPro. In addition, we identified multiple binding pockets that could be singly or multiply occupied on all proteins tested. The best binding energy was with Mn-Methisazone versus spike protein, and the largest cumulative increases in binding energies were found with PlPr. We suggest that further studies are warranted to identify whether these compounds may be effective for treatment and/or prophylaxis.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Metals/chemistry , Methisazone/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , Calcium/chemistry , Calcium/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Drug Design , Humans , Iron/chemistry , Iron/metabolism , Magnesium/chemistry , Magnesium/metabolism , Manganese/chemistry , Manganese/metabolism , Metals/metabolism , Methisazone/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Zinc/chemistry , Zinc/metabolism
7.
Chem Commun (Camb) ; 57(64): 7910-7913, 2021 Aug 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366836

ABSTRACT

Structural data on the SARS-CoV-2 main protease in complex with a zinc-containing organic inhibitor are already present in the literature and gave hints on the presence of a zinc binding site involving the catalytically relevant cysteine and histidine residues. In this paper, the structural basis of ionic zinc binding to the SARS-CoV-2 main protease has been elucidated by X-ray crystallography. The zinc binding affinity and its ability to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 main protease have been investigated. These findings provide solid ground for the design of potent and selective metal-conjugated inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 main protease.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Binding Sites , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Crystallography, X-Ray , Humans , Protein Conformation , Zinc/metabolism
8.
Viruses ; 12(10)2020 10 18.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1305818

ABSTRACT

Liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) is a rapidly growing research focus due to numerous demonstrations that many cellular proteins phase-separate to form biomolecular condensates (BMCs) that nucleate membraneless organelles (MLOs). A growing repertoire of mechanisms supporting BMC formation, composition, dynamics, and functions are becoming elucidated. BMCs are now appreciated as required for several steps of gene regulation, while their deregulation promotes pathological aggregates, such as stress granules (SGs) and insoluble irreversible plaques that are hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases. Treatment of BMC-related diseases will greatly benefit from identification of therapeutics preventing pathological aggregates while sparing BMCs required for cellular functions. Numerous viruses that block SG assembly also utilize or engineer BMCs for their replication. While BMC formation first depends on prion-like disordered protein domains (PrLDs), metal ion-controlled RNA-binding domains (RBDs) also orchestrate their formation. Virus replication and viral genomic RNA (vRNA) packaging dynamics involving nucleocapsid (NC) proteins and their orthologs rely on Zinc (Zn) availability, while virus morphology and infectivity are negatively influenced by excess Copper (Cu). While virus infections modify physiological metal homeostasis towards an increased copper to zinc ratio (Cu/Zn), how and why they do this remains elusive. Following our recent finding that pan-retroviruses employ Zn for NC-mediated LLPS for virus assembly, we present a pan-virus bioinformatics and literature meta-analysis study identifying metal-based mechanisms linking virus-induced BMCs to neurodegenerative disease processes. We discover that conserved degree and placement of PrLDs juxtaposing metal-regulated RBDs are associated with disease-causing prion-like proteins and are common features of viral proteins responsible for virus capsid assembly and structure. Virus infections both modulate gene expression of metalloproteins and interfere with metal homeostasis, representing an additional virus strategy impeding physiological and cellular antiviral responses. Our analyses reveal that metal-coordinated virus NC protein PrLDs initiate LLPS that nucleate pan-virus assembly and contribute to their persistence as cell-free infectious aerosol droplets. Virus aerosol droplets and insoluble neurological disease aggregates should be eliminated by physiological or environmental metals that outcompete PrLD-bound metals. While environmental metals can control virus spreading via aerosol droplets, therapeutic interference with metals or metalloproteins represent additional attractive avenues against pan-virus infection and virus-exacerbated neurological diseases.


Subject(s)
Copper/metabolism , Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , Nucleocapsid/metabolism , Prions/metabolism , Zinc/metabolism , Computational Biology , Meta-Analysis as Topic , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Neurodegenerative Diseases/virology , Nucleocapsid/genetics , Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , Prions/genetics , Protein Domains , Viral Proteins/genetics , Viral Proteins/metabolism
9.
Science ; 373(6551): 236-241, 2021 07 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266364

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causal agent of COVID-19, uses an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) for the replication of its genome and the transcription of its genes. We found that the catalytic subunit of the RdRp, nsp12, ligates two iron-sulfur metal cofactors in sites that were modeled as zinc centers in the available cryo-electron microscopy structures of the RdRp complex. These metal binding sites are essential for replication and for interaction with the viral helicase. Oxidation of the clusters by the stable nitroxide TEMPOL caused their disassembly, potently inhibited the RdRp, and blocked SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell culture. These iron-sulfur clusters thus serve as cofactors for the SARS-CoV-2 RdRp and are targets for therapy of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coenzymes/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Cyclic N-Oxides/pharmacology , Iron/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Sulfur/metabolism , Amino Acid Motifs , Animals , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Binding Sites , Catalytic Domain , Chlorocebus aethiops , Coenzymes/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology , Iron/chemistry , Protein Domains , RNA Helicases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spin Labels , Sulfur/chemistry , Vero Cells , Viral Nonstructural Proteins/metabolism , Virus Replication/drug effects , Zinc/metabolism
10.
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci ; 25(10): 3772-3790, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1264762

ABSTRACT

Multiple epidemiological studies have suggested that industrialization and progressive urbanization should be considered one of the main factors responsible for the rising of atherosclerosis in the developing world. In this scenario, the role of trace metals in the insurgence and progression of atherosclerosis has not been clarified yet. In this paper, the specific role of selected trace elements (magnesium, zinc, selenium, iron, copper, phosphorus, and calcium) is described by focusing on the atherosclerotic prevention and pathogenesis plaque. For each element, the following data are reported: daily intake, serum levels, intra/extracellular distribution, major roles in physiology, main effects of high and low levels, specific roles in atherosclerosis, possible interactions with other trace elements, and possible influences on plaque development. For each trace element, the correlations between its levels and clinical severity and outcome of COVID-19 are discussed. Moreover, the role of matrix metalloproteinases, a family of zinc-dependent endopeptidases, as a new medical therapeutical approach to atherosclerosis is discussed. Data suggest that trace element status may influence both atherosclerosis insurgence and plaque evolution toward a stable or an unstable status. However, significant variability in the action of these traces is evident: some - including magnesium, zinc, and selenium - may have a protective role, whereas others, including iron and copper, probably have a multi-faceted and more complex role in the pathogenesis of the atherosclerotic plaque. Finally, calcium and phosphorus are implicated in the calcification of atherosclerotic plaques and in the progression of the plaque toward rupture and severe clinical complications. In particular, the role of calcium is debated. Focusing on the COVID-19 pandemia, optimized magnesium and zinc levels are indicated as important protective tools against a severe clinical course of the disease, often related to the ability of SARS-CoV-2 to cause a systemic inflammatory response, able to transform a stable plaque into an unstable one, with severe clinical complications.


Subject(s)
Atherosclerosis/pathology , Trace Elements/metabolism , Atherosclerosis/metabolism , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Calcium/blood , Calcium/metabolism , Copper/blood , Copper/metabolism , Humans , Iron/blood , Iron/metabolism , Magnesium/blood , Magnesium/metabolism , Matrix Metalloproteinases/metabolism , Phosphorus/blood , Phosphorus/metabolism , Risk , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Selenium/blood , Selenium/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Trace Elements/blood , Zinc/blood , Zinc/metabolism
11.
Adv Food Nutr Res ; 96: 251-310, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1240122

ABSTRACT

Since the discovery of manifest Zn deficiency in 1961, the increasing number of studies demonstrated the association between altered Zn status and multiple diseases. In this chapter, we provide a review of the most recent advances on the role of Zn in health and disease (2010-20), with a special focus on the role of Zn in neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, diabetes and obesity, male and female reproduction, as well as COVID-19. In parallel with the revealed tight association between ASD risk and severity and Zn status, the particular mechanisms linking Zn2+ and ASD pathogenesis like modulation of synaptic plasticity through ProSAP/Shank scaffold, neurotransmitter metabolism, and gut microbiota, have been elucidated. The increasing body of data indicate the potential involvement of Zn2+ metabolism in neurodegeneration. Systemic Zn levels in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease were found to be reduced, whereas its sequestration in brain may result in modulation of amyloid ß and α-synuclein processing with subsequent toxic effects. Zn2+ was shown to possess adipotropic effects through the role of zinc transporters, zinc finger proteins, and Zn-α2-glycoprotein in adipose tissue physiology, underlying its particular role in pathogenesis of obesity and diabetes mellitus type 2. Recent findings also contribute to further understanding of the role of Zn2+ in spermatogenesis and sperm functioning, as well as oocyte development and fertilization. Finally, Zn2+ was shown to be the potential adjuvant therapy in management of novel coronavirus infection (COVID-19), underlining the perspectives of zinc in management of old and new threats.


Subject(s)
Autism Spectrum Disorder/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/metabolism , Neurodegenerative Diseases/metabolism , Obesity/metabolism , Reproduction , Zinc/metabolism , Alzheimer Disease/metabolism , Animals , COVID-19/drug therapy , Female , Humans , Male , Neurodevelopmental Disorders/metabolism , Nutritional Status , Parkinson Disease/metabolism , Zinc/deficiency , Zinc/therapeutic use
12.
Int Immunopharmacol ; 96: 107630, 2021 Jul.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1163925

ABSTRACT

The novel SARS-CoV-2 which was first reported in China is the cause of infection known as COVID-19. In comparison with other coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV and MERS, the mortality rate of SARS-CoV-2 is lower but the transmissibility is higher. Immune dysregulation is the most common feature of the immunopathogenesis of COVID-19 that leads to hyperinflammation. Micronutrients such as zinc are essential for normal immune function. According to the assessment of WHO, approximately one-third of the world's society suffer from zinc deficiency. Low plasma levels of zinc are associated with abnormal immune system functions such as impaired chemotaxis of polymorphonuclear cells (PMNs) and phagocytosis, dysregulated intracellular killing, overexpression of the inflammatory cytokines, lymphopenia, decreased antibody production, and sensitivity to microbes especially viral respiratory infections. Zinc exerts numerous direct and indirect effects against a wide variety of viral species particularly RNA viruses. The use of zinc and a combination of zinc-pyrithione at low concentrations impede SARS-CoV replication in vitro. Accordingly, zinc can inhibit the elongation step of RNA transcription. Furthermore, zinc might improve antiviral immunity by up-regulation of IFNα through JAK/STAT1 signaling pathway in leukocytes. On the other hand, zinc supplementation might ameliorate tissue damage caused by mechanical ventilation in critical COVID-19 patients. Finally, zinc might be used in combination with antiviral medications for the management of COVID-19 patients. In the current review article, we review and discuss the immunobiological roles and antiviral properties as well as the therapeutic application of zinc in SARS-CoV-2 and related coronaviruses infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Zinc/metabolism , Zinc/pharmacology , Humans , Virus Replication/drug effects
13.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(10)2021 03 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116057

ABSTRACT

Blood pH is tightly maintained between 7.35 and 7.45, and acidosis (pH <7.3) indicates poor prognosis in sepsis, wherein lactic acid from anoxic tissues overwhelms the buffering capacity of blood. Poor sepsis prognosis is also associated with low zinc levels and the release of High mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) from activated and/or necrotic cells. HMGB1 added to whole blood at physiological pH did not bind leukocyte receptors, but lowering pH with lactic acid to mimic sepsis conditions allowed binding, implying the presence of natural inhibitor(s) preventing binding at normal pH. Testing micromolar concentrations of divalent cations showed that zinc supported the robust binding of sialylated glycoproteins with HMGB1. Further characterizing HMGB1 as a sialic acid-binding lectin, we found that optimal binding takes place at normal blood pH and is markedly reduced when pH is adjusted with lactic acid to levels found in sepsis. Glycan array studies confirmed the binding of HMGB1 to sialylated glycan sequences typically found on plasma glycoproteins, with binding again being dependent on zinc and normal blood pH. Thus, HMGB1-mediated hyperactivation of innate immunity in sepsis requires acidosis, and micromolar zinc concentrations are protective. We suggest that the potent inflammatory effects of HMGB1 are kept in check via sequestration by plasma sialoglycoproteins at physiological pH and triggered when pH and zinc levels fall in late stages of sepsis. Current clinical trials independently studying zinc supplementation, HMGB1 inhibition, or pH normalization may be more successful if these approaches are combined and perhaps supplemented by infusions of heavily sialylated molecules.


Subject(s)
Acidosis/blood , HMGB1 Protein/blood , Sepsis/blood , Sialoglycoproteins/blood , Zinc/blood , Acidosis/immunology , Acidosis/metabolism , Acidosis/pathology , Carrier Proteins , HMGB1 Protein/pharmacology , Humans , Hydrogen-Ion Concentration , Immunity, Innate , Lipopolysaccharides/pharmacology , Polysaccharides/chemistry , Sepsis/immunology , Sepsis/pathology , Sialic Acids/chemistry , Sialoglycoproteins/chemistry , Zinc/metabolism
14.
Int J Mol Sci ; 22(6)2021 Mar 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1136500

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 currently lacks effective first-line drug treatment. We present promising data from in silico docking studies of new Methisazone compounds (modified with calcium, Ca; iron, Fe; magnesium, Mg; manganese, Mn; or zinc, Zn) designed to bind more strongly to key proteins involved in replication of SARS-CoV-2. In this in silico molecular docking study, we investigated the inhibiting role of Methisazone and the modified drugs against SARS-CoV-2 proteins: ribonucleic acid (RNA)-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), spike protein, papain-like protease (PlPr), and main protease (MPro). We found that the highest binding interactions were found with the spike protein (6VYB), with the highest overall binding being observed with Mn-bound Methisazone at -8.3 kcal/mol, followed by Zn and Ca at -8.0 kcal/mol, and Fe and Mg at -7.9 kcal/mol. We also found that the metal-modified Methisazone had higher affinity for PlPr and MPro. In addition, we identified multiple binding pockets that could be singly or multiply occupied on all proteins tested. The best binding energy was with Mn-Methisazone versus spike protein, and the largest cumulative increases in binding energies were found with PlPr. We suggest that further studies are warranted to identify whether these compounds may be effective for treatment and/or prophylaxis.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Metals/chemistry , Methisazone/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , Calcium/chemistry , Calcium/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Drug Design , Humans , Iron/chemistry , Iron/metabolism , Magnesium/chemistry , Magnesium/metabolism , Manganese/chemistry , Manganese/metabolism , Metals/metabolism , Methisazone/metabolism , Models, Molecular , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Binding , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Zinc/chemistry , Zinc/metabolism
15.
Cells ; 10(3)2021 02 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1122409

ABSTRACT

The article describes the rationale for the administration of zinc-chelating agents in COVID-19 patients. In a previous work I have highlighted that the binding of the SARS-CoV spike proteins to the zinc-metalloprotease ACE2 has been shown to induce ACE2 shedding by activating the zinc-metalloprotease ADAM17, which ultimately leads to systemic upregulation of ACE2 activity. Moreover, based on experimental models, it was also shown the detrimental effect of the excessive systemic activity of ACE2 through its downstream pathways, which leads to "clinical" manifestations resembling COVID-19. In this regard, strong upregulation of circulating ACE2 activity was recently reported in COVID-19 patients, thus supporting the previous hypothesis that COVID-19 may derive from upregulation of ACE2 activity. Based on this, a reasonable hypothesis of using inhibitors that curb the upregulation of both ACE2 and ADAM17 zinc-metalloprotease activities and consequent positive feedback-loops (initially triggered by SARS-CoV-2 and subsequently sustained independently on viral trigger) is proposed as therapy for COVID-19. In particular, zinc-chelating agents such as citrate and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) alone or in combination are expected to act in protecting from COVID-19 at different levels thanks to their both anticoagulant properties and inhibitory activity on zinc-metalloproteases. Several arguments are presented in support of this hypothesis and based on the current knowledge of both beneficial/harmful effects and cost/effectiveness, the use of chelating agents in the prevention and therapy of COVID-19 is proposed. In this regard, clinical trials (currently absent) employing citrate/EDTA in COVID-19 are urgently needed in order to shed more light on the efficacy of zinc chelators against SARS-CoV-2 infection in vivo.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Chelating Agents/pharmacology , Citric Acid/pharmacology , Edetic Acid/pharmacology , Renin-Angiotensin System/drug effects , Zinc/metabolism , ADAM17 Protein/metabolism , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Anticoagulants/pharmacology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/therapy , Drug Discovery , Humans , Immunization, Passive/adverse effects , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Up-Regulation/drug effects
16.
Inflammopharmacology ; 29(1): 101-105, 2021 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1100980

ABSTRACT

The nutritional status of a patient can be critical for the efficacy of other pharmaceuticals, especially organic antibiotics, to treat viral pandemics. There may be political and scientific difficulties in achieving a constructive synergy of nutritional and prescribed allopathic remedies. For adequate treatment, timelines may need to extend well beyond eliminating viral proliferation, e.g., with vaccines, to include the goals of (a) reducing post-viral fatigue, (b) promoting earliest recovery, and (c) future resistance in often poorly nourished patients, e.g., obese (!). Many trace minerals (TM) and vitamins may need to be replenished. This review focusses only upon zinc to illustrate some problems in rectifying these TM deficiencies affecting the balance between continued ill-health ('illth') or regaining optimal physical and mental wellbeing. Ultimately, this is a matter of behaviour, lifestyle, and informed choice(s). See Hetzel and McMichael 1959.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Dietary Supplements , Nutritional Status , SARS-CoV-2 , Zinc/therapeutic use , Anti-Infective Agents/administration & dosage , Humans , Pandemics , Zinc/administration & dosage , Zinc/metabolism
17.
Biophys J ; 120(6): 1085-1096, 2021 03 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1033766

ABSTRACT

This work builds upon the record-breaking speed and generous immediate release of new experimental three-dimensional structures of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) proteins and complexes, which are crucial to downstream vaccine and drug development. We have surveyed those structures to catch the occasional errors that could be significant for those important uses and for which we were able to provide demonstrably higher-accuracy corrections. This process relied on new validation and correction methods such as CaBLAM and ISOLDE, which are not yet in routine use. We found such important and correctable problems in seven early SARS-CoV-2 structures. Two of the structures were soon superseded by new higher-resolution data, confirming our proposed changes. For the other five, we emailed the depositors a documented and illustrated report and encouraged them to make the model corrections themselves and use the new option at the worldwide Protein Data Bank for depositors to re-version their coordinates without changing the Protein Data Bank code. This quickly and easily makes the better-accuracy coordinates available to anyone who examines or downloads their structure, even before formal publication. The changes have involved sequence misalignments, incorrect RNA conformations near a bound inhibitor, incorrect metal ligands, and cis-trans or peptide flips that prevent good contact at interaction sites. These improvements have propagated into nearly all related structures done afterward. This process constitutes a new form of highly rigorous peer review, which is actually faster and more strict than standard publication review because it has access to coordinates and maps; journal peer review would also be strengthened by such access.


Subject(s)
Peer Review , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/chemistry , Adenosine Monophosphate/pharmacology , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/chemistry , Alanine/pharmacology , Antibodies, Viral , Catalytic Domain , DNA-Directed RNA Polymerases/metabolism , Humans , Models, Molecular , Nucleocapsid/chemistry , Phosphoproteins/chemistry , RNA-Binding Proteins/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Zinc/metabolism
18.
Reprod Sci ; 29(1): 1-6, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1014274

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) is the current world health crisis, producing extensive morbidity and mortality across all age groups. Given the established roles of zinc in combating oxidative damage and viral infections, zinc is being trialed as a treatment modality against COVID-19. Zinc also has confirmed roles in both male and female reproduction. The possible depletion of zinc with the oxidative events of COVID-19 is especially relevant to the fertility of affected couples. This review aims to present the pathophysiology of COVID-19, especially in relation to reproductive function; the role of zinc in the COVID-19 disease process; and how zinc depletion in concert with cytokine storm and reactive oxygen species production could affect reproduction. It also highlights research areas to better the understanding of COVID-19 and its impact on fertility and potential ways to mitigate the impact.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Oxidative Stress/physiology , Reproduction/physiology , Zinc/metabolism , Female , Humans , Male , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism
19.
Br J Pharmacol ; 177(21): 4887-4898, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-998833

ABSTRACT

Several lines of evidence support a link between the essential element zinc and the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). An important fact is that zinc is present in proteins of humans and of viruses. Some zinc sites in viral enzymes may serve as drug targets and may liberate zinc ions, thus leading to changes in intracellular concentration of zinc ions, while increased intracellular zinc may induce biological effects in both the host and the virus. Drugs such as chloroquine may contribute to increased intracellular zinc. Moreover, clinical trials on the use of zinc alone or in addition to other drugs in the prophylaxis/treatment of COVID-19 are ongoing. Thereby, we aim to discuss the rationale for targeting zinc metalloenzymes as a new strategy for the treatment of COVID-19. LINKED ARTICLES: This article is part of a themed issue on The Pharmacology of COVID-19. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v177.21/issuetoc.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Zinc/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , COVID-19 , Chloroquine/pharmacology , Coronavirus Infections/enzymology , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Enzymes/metabolism , Humans , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/enzymology , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , SARS-CoV-2
20.
Int J Mol Med ; 47(1): 326-334, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-945986

ABSTRACT

RNA­dependent RNA­polymerase (RdRp) and 3C­like proteinase (3CLpro) are two main enzymes that play a key role in the replication of SARS­CoV­2. Zinc (Zn) has strong immunogenic properties and is known to bind to a number of proteins, modulating their activities. Zn also has a history of use in viral infection control. Thus, the present study models potential Zn binding to RdRp and the 3CLpro. Through molecular modeling, the Zn binding sites in the aforementioned two important enzymes of viral replication were found to be conserved between severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)­coronavirus (CoV) and SARS­CoV­2. The location of these sites may influence the enzymatic activity of 3CLpro and RdRp in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID­19). Since Zn has established immune health benefits, is readily available, non­expensive and a safe food supplement, with the comparisons presented here between SARS­CoV and COVID­19, the present study proposes that Zn could help ameliorate the disease process of COVID­19 infection.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/chemistry , Models, Molecular , SARS-CoV-2/chemistry , Zinc/chemistry , Binding Sites , COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication , Zinc/metabolism
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