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1.
J Biomol Struct Dyn ; 40(2): 685-695, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1721854

ABSTRACT

3CLpro is the main protease of the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) responsible for their intracellular duplication. Based on virtual screening technology and molecular dynamics simulation, we found 23 approved clinical drugs such as Viomycin, Capastat, Carfilzomib and Saquinavir, which showed high affinity with the 3CLpro active sites. These findings showed that there were potential drugs that inhibit SARS-Cov-2's 3CLpro in the current clinical drug library, and these drugs can be further tested or chemically modified for the treatment of COVID-19.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pharmaceutical Preparations , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Peptide Hydrolases , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2
2.
Curr Pharm Biotechnol ; 22(15): 2054-2070, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1551391

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In December 2019, an outbreak of a pneumonia-like illness, Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19), originating from Wuhan, China, was linked to novel coronavirus, now termed SARS-CoV-2. Unfortunately, no effective drugs or vaccines have been reported yet. The main protease (MPRO) remains the most validated pharmacological target for the design and discovery of inhibitors. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to find a prospective natural scaffold as an inhibitor for MPRO main protease in SARS-CoV-2 and compare it with repurposed antiviral drugs lopinavir and nelfinavir. METHODS: Natural compound libraries were screened for potential scaffold against MPRO main protease. Molecular dynamics simulation, MM-GBSA and principal component analyses of enzyme- ligand complexes were carried out with the top-ranking hits and compared with the repurposed antiviral drugs lopinavir and nelfinavir. RESULTS: The structure-based virtual screening indicated phenylbenzopyrone of flavonoids as one of the top-ranking scaffolds that have the potential to inhibit the main protease with the Oglycosidic form, performing better than the corresponding aglyconic form. Simulation studies indicated that glycosidic form of flavonoid is a more suitable inhibitor with compounds rutin, procyanidin B6, baicalin and galloylquercetin, demonstrating high affinity and stability, and rutin, emerging as one of the best candidate compounds. Interestingly, rutin was reported to have inhibitory activity against similar protease (3Cprotease of enterovirus A71) and implicated in lung fibrosis. CONCLUSION: The present study on flavonoids, possessing a potential scaffold for inhibiting main protease activity for all betacoronavirus is an attempt to provide new and safe drug leads within a reasonably short period.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Flavonoids , Protease Inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Prospective Studies , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/drug effects
3.
Proteomics ; 21(2): e2000246, 2021 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1384281

ABSTRACT

The genome of coronaviruses, including SARS-CoV-2, encodes for two proteases, a papain like (PLpro ) protease and the so-called main protease (Mpro ), a chymotrypsin-like cysteine protease, also named 3CLpro or non-structural protein 5 (nsp5). Mpro is activated by autoproteolysis and is the main protease responsible for cutting the viral polyprotein into functional units. Aside from this, it is described that Mpro proteases are also capable of processing host proteins, including those involved in the host innate immune response. To identify substrates of the three main proteases from SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2, and hCoV-NL63 coronviruses, an LC-MS based N-terminomics in vitro analysis is performed using recombinantly expressed proteases and lung epithelial and endothelial cell lysates as substrate pools. For SARS-CoV-2 Mpro , 445 cleavage events from more than 300 proteins are identified, while 151 and 331 Mpro derived cleavage events are identified for SARS-CoV and hCoV-NL63, respectively. These data enable to better understand the cleavage site specificity of the viral proteases and will help to identify novel substrates in vivo. All data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD021406.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus NL63, Human/enzymology , Peptide Fragments/analysis , SARS Virus/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Viral Proteins/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Cells, Cultured , Endothelial Cells/metabolism , Endothelial Cells/virology , Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Epithelial Cells/virology , Eukaryotic Initiation Factor-4G/metabolism , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Lung/metabolism , Lung/virology , Substrate Specificity
4.
Mol Inform ; 40(8): e2100028, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1345038

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic caused by the SARS-CoV-2 has mobilized scientific attention in search of a treatment. The cysteine-proteases, main protease (Mpro) and papain-like protease (PLpro) are important targets for antiviral drugs. In this work, we simulate the interactions between the Mpro and PLpro with Ebselen, its metabolites and derivatives with the aim of finding molecules that can potentially inhibit these enzymes. The docking data demonstrate that there are two main interactions between the thiol (-SH) group of Cys (from the protease active sites) and the electrophilic centers of the organoselenium molecules, i. e. the interaction with the carbonyl group (O=C… SH) and the interaction with the Se moiety (Se… SH). Both interactions may lead to an adduct formation and enzyme inhibition. Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations with Ebselen indicate that the energetics of the thiol nucleophilic attack is more favorable on Se than on the carbonyl group, which is in accordance with experimental data (Jin et al. Nature, 2020, 582, 289-293). Therefore, organoselenium molecules should be further explored as inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 proteases. Furthermore, we suggest that some metabolites of Ebselen (e. g. Ebselen diselenide and methylebselenoxide) and derivatives ethaselen and ebsulfur should be tested in vitro as inhibitors of virus replication and its proteases.


Subject(s)
Azoles/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Organoselenium Compounds/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Azoles/chemistry , Azoles/metabolism , COVID-19/metabolism , Catalytic Domain/drug effects , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Discovery , Humans , Isoindoles , Molecular Docking Simulation , Organoselenium Compounds/chemistry , Organoselenium Compounds/metabolism , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , Viral Matrix Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors
5.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(2): 1402-1414, 2021 03 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1343661

ABSTRACT

The new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) halts the world economy and caused unbearable medical emergency due to high transmission rate and also no effective vaccine and drugs has been developed which brought the world pandemic situations. The main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2 may act as an effective target for drug development due to the conservation level. Herein, we have employed a rigorous literature review pipeline to enlist 3063 compounds from more than 200 plants from the Asian region. Therefore, the virtual screening procedure helps us to shortlist the total compounds into 19 based on their better binding energy. Moreover, the Prime MM-GBSA procedure screened the compound dataset further where curcumin, gartanin and robinetin had a score of (-59.439, -52.421 and - 47.544) kcal/mol, respectively. The top three ligands based on binding energy and MM-GBSA scores have most of the binding in the catalytic groove Cys145, His41, Met165, required for the target protein inhibition. The molecular dynamics simulation study confirms the docked complex rigidity and stability by exploring root mean square deviations, root mean square fluctuations, solvent accessible surface area, radius of gyration and hydrogen bond analysis from simulation trajectories. The post-molecular dynamics analysis also confirms the interactions of the curcumin, gartanin and robinetin in the similar binding pockets. Our computational drug designing approach may contribute to the development of drugs against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/virology , Plants/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Humans , Molecular Dynamics Simulation
6.
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
7.
Front Mol Biosci ; 8: 628585, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1247880

ABSTRACT

The recently emerged coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has created a crisis in world health, and economic sectors as an effective treatment or vaccine candidates are still developing. Besides, negative results in clinical trials and effective cheap solution against this deadly virus have brought new challenges. The viral protein, the main protease from SARS-CoV-2, can be effectively targeted due to its viral replication and pathogenesis role. In this study, we have enlisted 88 peptides from the AVPdb database. The peptide molecules were modeled to carry out the docking interactions. The four peptides molecules, P14, P39, P41, and P74, had more binding energy than the rest of the peptides in multiple docking programs. Interestingly, the active points of the main protease from SARS-CoV-2, Cys145, Leu141, Ser139, Phe140, Leu167, and Gln189, showed nonbonded interaction with the peptide molecules. The molecular dynamics simulation study was carried out for 200 ns to find out the docked complex's stability where their stability index was proved to be positive compared to the apo and control complex. Our computational works based on peptide molecules may aid the future development of therapeutic options against SARS-CoV-2.

8.
Mol Biol Rep ; 48(5): 4667-4675, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1237535

ABSTRACT

The transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2) is a membrane anchored protease that primarily expressed by epithelial cells of respiratory and gastrointestinal systems and has been linked to multiple pathological processes in humans including tumor growth, metastasis and viral infections. Recent studies have shown that TMPRSS2 expressed on cell surface of host cells could play a crucial role in activation of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) spike protein which facilitates the rapid early entry of the virus into host cells. In addition, direct suppression of TMPRSS2 using small drug inhibitors has been demonstrated to be effective in decreasing SARS-CoV-2 infection in vitro, which presents TMPRSS2 protease as a potential therapeutic strategy for SARS-CoV-2 infection. Recently, SARS-CoV-2 has been shown to be capable of infecting gastrointestinal enterocytes and to provoke gastrointestinal disorders in patients with COVID-19 disease, which is considered as a new transmission route and target organ of SARS-CoV-2. In this review, we highlight the biochemical properties of TMPRSS2 protease and discuss the potential targeting of TMPRSS2 by inhibitors to prevent the SARS-CoV-2 spreading through gastro-intestinal tract system as well as the hurdles that need to be overcome.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Enterocytes/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Serine Proteinase Inhibitors/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Evaluation, Preclinical , Enterocytes/metabolism , Enterocytes/virology , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Small Molecule Libraries/pharmacology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Virus Internalization/drug effects
9.
Molecules ; 26(9)2021 May 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1224075

ABSTRACT

The Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) caused the "COVID-19" disease that has been declared by WHO as a global emergency. The pandemic, which emerged in China and widespread all over the world, has no specific treatment till now. The reported antiviral activities of isoflavonoids encouraged us to find out its in silico anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity. In this work, molecular docking studies were carried out to investigate the interaction of fifty-nine isoflavonoids against hACE2 and viral Mpro. Several other in silico studies including physicochemical properties, ADMET and toxicity have been preceded. The results revealed that the examined isoflavonoids bound perfectly the hACE-2 with free binding energies ranging from -24.02 to -39.33 kcal mol-1, compared to the co-crystallized ligand (-21.39 kcal mol-1). Furthermore, such compounds bound the Mpro with unique binding modes showing free binding energies ranging from -32.19 to -50.79 kcal mol-1, comparing to the co-crystallized ligand (binding energy = -62.84 kcal mol-1). Compounds 33 and 56 showed the most acceptable affinities against hACE2. Compounds 30 and 53 showed the best docking results against Mpro. In silico ADMET studies suggest that most compounds possess drug-likeness properties.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/chemistry , Drug Delivery Systems , Isoflavones/chemistry , Molecular Docking Simulation , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Humans , Isoflavones/therapeutic use
10.
J Med Virol ; 93(3): 1581-1588, 2021 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1196480

ABSTRACT

The papain-like protease (PLpro ) is an important enzyme for coronavirus polyprotein processing, as well as for virus-host immune suppression. Previous studies reveal that a molecular analysis of PLpro indicates the catalytic activity of viral PLpro and its interactions with ubiquitin. By using sequence comparisons, molecular models, and protein-protein interaction maps, PLpro was compared in the three recorded fatal CoV epidemics, which involved severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV (SARS-CoV), and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The pairwise sequence comparison of SARS-CoV-2 PLpro indicated similarity percentages of 82.59% and 30.06% with SARS-CoV PLpro and MERS-CoV PLpro , respectively. In comparison with SARS-CoV PLpro , in SARS-CoV-2, the PLpro had a conserved catalytic triad of C111, H278, and D293, with a slightly lower number of polar interface residues and of hydrogen bonds, a higher number of buried interface sizes, and a lower number of residues that interact with ubiquitin and PLpro . These features might contribute to a similar or slightly lower level of deubiquitinating activity in SARS-CoV-2 PLpro. It was, however, a much higher level compared to MERS-CoV, which contained amino acid mutations and a low number of polar interfaces. SARS-CoV-2 PLpro and SARS-CoV PLpro showed almost the same catalytic site profiles, interface area compositions and polarities, suggesting a general similarity in deubiquitination activity. Compared with MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 had a higher potential for binding interactions with ubiquitin. These estimated parameters contribute to the knowledge gap in understanding how the new virus interacts with the immune system.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus/enzymology , SARS Virus/enzymology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Amino Acid Sequence , Catalytic Domain/physiology , Humans , Models, Molecular , Polyproteins/biosynthesis , Polyproteins/genetics , Sequence Alignment , Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome/pathology , Ubiquitin/metabolism , Viral Proteins/biosynthesis , Viral Proteins/genetics
11.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 7429, 2021 04 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1164909

ABSTRACT

The 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2 remains a serious health threat to humans and there is an urgent need to develop therapeutics against this deadly virus. Recent scientific evidences have suggested that the main protease (Mpro) enzyme in SARS-CoV-2 can be an ideal drug target due to its crucial role in the viral replication and transcription processes. Therefore, there are ongoing research efforts to identify drug candidates against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro that resulted in hundreds of X-ray crystal structures of ligand-bound Mpro complexes in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) describing the interactions of different fragment chemotypes within different sites of the Mpro. In this work, we performed rigorous molecular dynamics (MD) simulation of 62 reversible ligand-Mpro complexes in the PDB to gain mechanistic insights about their interactions at the atomic level. Using a total of over 3 µs long MD trajectories, we characterized different pockets in the apo Mpro structure, and analyzed the dynamic interactions and binding affinity of ligands within those pockets. Our results identified the key residues that stabilize the ligands in the catalytic sites and other pockets of Mpro. Our analyses unraveled the role of a lateral pocket in the catalytic site in Mpro that is critical for enhancing the ligand binding to the enzyme. We also highlighted the important contribution from HIS163 in the lateral pocket towards ligand binding and affinity against Mpro through computational mutation analyses. Further, we revealed the effects of explicit water molecules and Mpro dimerization in the ligand association with the target. Thus, comprehensive molecular-level insights gained from this work can be useful to identify or design potent small molecule inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro.


Subject(s)
Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Viral Matrix Proteins/antagonists & inhibitors , Binding Sites , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Catalytic Domain , Databases, Protein , Humans , Ligands , Mutagenesis, Site-Directed , Principal Component Analysis , Protease Inhibitors/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Thermodynamics , Viral Matrix Proteins/metabolism
12.
Curr Med Chem ; 28(37): 7614-7633, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1158306

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Mpro) is one of the targets identified in SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. The application of X-ray diffraction crystallography made available the three-dimensional structure of this protein target in complex with ligands, which paved the way for docking studies. OBJECTIVE: Our goal here is to review recent efforts in the application of docking simulations to identify inhibitors of the Mpro using the program AutoDock4. METHODS: We searched PubMed to identify studies that applied AutoDock4 for docking against this protein target. We used the structures available for Mpro to analyze intermolecular interactions and reviewed the methods used to search for inhibitors. RESULTS: The application of docking against the structures available for the Mpro found ligands with an estimated inhibition in the nanomolar range. Such computational approaches focused on the crystal structures revealed potential inhibitors of Mpro that might exhibit pharmacological activity against SARS-CoV-2. Nevertheless, most of these studies lack the proper validation of the docking protocol. Also, they all ignored the potential use of machine learning to predict affinity. CONCLUSION: The combination of structural data with computational approaches opened the possibility to accelerate the search for drugs to treat COVID-19. Several studies used AutoDock4 to search for inhibitors of Mpro. Most of them did not employ a validated docking protocol, which lends support to critics of their computational methodology. Furthermore, one of these studies reported the binding of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to Mpro. This study ignores the scientific evidence against the use of these antimalarial drugs to treat COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19 , Ligands , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptide Hydrolases , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
13.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 10(1): 481-492, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1124537

ABSTRACT

The unprecedented coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), is a serious threat to global public health. Development of effective therapies against SARS-CoV-2 is urgently needed. Here, we evaluated the antiviral activity of a remdesivir parent nucleotide analog, GS441524, which targets the coronavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase enzyme, and a feline coronavirus prodrug, GC376, which targets its main protease, using a mouse-adapted SARS-CoV-2 infected mouse model. Our results showed that GS441524 effectively blocked the proliferation of SARS-CoV-2 in the mouse upper and lower respiratory tracts via combined intranasal (i.n.) and intramuscular (i.m.) treatment. However, the ability of high-dose GC376 (i.m. or i.n. and i.m.) was weaker than GS441524. Notably, low-dose combined application of GS441524 with GC376 could effectively protect mice against SARS-CoV-2 infection via i.n. or i.n. and i.m. treatment. Moreover, we found that the pharmacokinetic properties of GS441524 is better than GC376, and combined application of GC376 and GS441524 had a synergistic effect. Our findings support the further evaluation of the combined application of GC376 and GS441524 in future clinical studies.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/antagonists & inhibitors , Respiratory System/virology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Cell Proliferation/drug effects , Chlorocebus aethiops , Drug Therapy, Combination , Female , Mice , Mice, Inbred BALB C , Prodrugs/pharmacology , Rats , Rats, Sprague-Dawley , Vero Cells
14.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 5433, 2021 03 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1123148

ABSTRACT

The lack of coronavirus-specific antiviral drugs has instigated multiple drug repurposing studies to redirect previously approved medicines for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus behind the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. A recent, large-scale, retrospective clinical study showed that famotidine, when administered at a high dose to hospitalized COVID-19 patients, reduced the rates of intubation and mortality. A separate, patient-reported study associated famotidine use with improvements in mild to moderate symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath. While a prospective, multi-center clinical study is ongoing, two parallel in silico studies have proposed one of the two SARS-CoV-2 proteases, 3CLpro or PLpro, as potential molecular targets of famotidine activity; however, this remains to be experimentally validated. In this report, we systematically analyzed the effect of famotidine on viral proteases and virus replication. Leveraging a series of biophysical and enzymatic assays, we show that famotidine neither binds with nor inhibits the functions of 3CLpro and PLpro. Similarly, no direct antiviral activity of famotidine was observed at concentrations of up to 200 µM, when tested against SARS-CoV-2 in two different cell lines, including a human cell line originating from lungs, a primary target of COVID-19. These results rule out famotidine as a direct-acting inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 replication and warrant further investigation of its molecular mechanism of action in the context of COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Famotidine/pharmacology , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Virus Replication/drug effects , A549 Cells , Animals , COVID-19/virology , Chlorocebus aethiops , Humans , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Vero Cells
15.
EBioMedicine ; 65: 103255, 2021 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1116567

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antivirals are needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, which is caused by SARS-CoV-2. The clinically-proven protease inhibitor Camostat mesylate inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection by blocking the virus-activating host cell protease TMPRSS2. However, antiviral activity of Camostat mesylate metabolites and potential viral resistance have not been analyzed. Moreover, antiviral activity of Camostat mesylate in human lung tissue remains to be demonstrated. METHODS: We used recombinant TMPRSS2, reporter particles bearing the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 or authentic SARS-CoV-2 to assess inhibition of TMPRSS2 and viral entry, respectively, by Camostat mesylate and its metabolite GBPA. FINDINGS: We show that several TMPRSS2-related proteases activate SARS-CoV-2 and that two, TMPRSS11D and TMPRSS13, are robustly expressed in the upper respiratory tract. However, entry mediated by these proteases was blocked by Camostat mesylate. The Camostat metabolite GBPA inhibited recombinant TMPRSS2 with reduced efficiency as compared to Camostat mesylate. In contrast, both inhibitors exhibited similar antiviral activity and this correlated with the rapid conversion of Camostat mesylate into GBPA in the presence of serum. Finally, Camostat mesylate and GBPA blocked SARS-CoV-2 spread in human lung tissue ex vivo and the related protease inhibitor Nafamostat mesylate exerted augmented antiviral activity. INTERPRETATION: Our results suggest that SARS-CoV-2 can use TMPRSS2 and closely related proteases for spread in the upper respiratory tract and that spread in the human lung can be blocked by Camostat mesylate and its metabolite GBPA. FUNDING: NIH, Damon Runyon Foundation, ACS, NYCT, DFG, EU, Berlin Mathematics center MATH+, BMBF, Lower Saxony, Lundbeck Foundation, Novo Nordisk Foundation.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , Esters/pharmacology , Guanidines/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Serine Endopeptidases/metabolism , Animals , Cell Line , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Lung/pathology , Lung/virology , Membrane Proteins/biosynthesis , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Serine Endopeptidases/biosynthesis , Serine Proteases/biosynthesis , Vero Cells , Virus Activation/drug effects , Virus Internalization/drug effects
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 3640, 2021 02 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1078609

ABSTRACT

An efficient treatment against a COVID-19 disease, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (CoV2), remains a challenge. The papain-like protease (PLpro) from the human coronavirus is a protease that plays a critical role in virus replication. Moreover, CoV2 uses this enzyme to modulate the host's immune system to its own benefit. Therefore, it represents a highly promising target for the development of antiviral drugs. We used Approximate Bayesian Computation tools, molecular modelling and enzyme activity studies to identify highly active inhibitors of the PLpro. We discovered organoselenium compounds, ebselen and its structural analogues, as a novel approach for inhibiting the activity of PLproCoV2. Furthermore, we identified, for the first time, inhibitors of PLproCoV2 showing potency in the nanomolar range. Moreover, we found a difference between PLpro from SARS and CoV2 that can be correlated with the diverse dynamics of their replication, and, putatively to disease progression.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Azoles/pharmacology , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Molecular Docking Simulation , Organoselenium Compounds/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Azoles/chemistry , Binding Sites , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/chemistry , Coronavirus Papain-Like Proteases/metabolism , Isoindoles , Organoselenium Compounds/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protein Binding
17.
Front Genet ; 11: 607479, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1063324

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, induced by the pathogenic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has spread rapidly all over the world. There is considerable variability among neonates, children, and adults in the incidence of infection and severe disease following exposure to SARS-CoV-2. In our study, we analyzed the transcriptome data of primate animal model of Rhesus monkeys to evaluate the expression levels of possible SARS-CoV-2 receptors and proteases and immunologic features in the lungs, colons, livers, and brains at different developmental stages. Our results revealed that ACE2 and TMPRSS2 were highly expressed in neonates compared with other populations, which imply the high incidence of infection. Other potential receptors and Type II transmembrane serine proteases (TTSPs) and cathepsin of endosomal proteases also exhibited dynamic and differential expression patterns. The expression of receptors (ACE2, BSG, and DPP4) and proteases (TMPRSS2, TMPRSS9, CTSL, and CTSB) were highly correlated during lung development, suggesting the high susceptibility of the lungs. TMPRSS9 was specifically highly expressed in the lungs and reached the highest level in neonates, similar to TMPRSS2. Moreover, the immune cell infiltration analysis revealed immunity immaturity in neonates, implying the association with the mild or moderate type of COVID-19. The results might help researchers design protective and therapeutic strategies for COVID-19 in populations at different ages.

18.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 743, 2021 02 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1061105

ABSTRACT

The pandemic caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to expand. Papain-like protease (PLpro) is one of two SARS-CoV-2 proteases potentially targetable with antivirals. PLpro is an attractive target because it plays an essential role in cleavage and maturation of viral polyproteins, assembly of the replicase-transcriptase complex, and disruption of host responses. We report a substantive body of structural, biochemical, and virus replication studies that identify several inhibitors of the SARS-CoV-2 enzyme. We determined the high resolution structure of wild-type PLpro, the active site C111S mutant, and their complexes with inhibitors. This collection of structures details inhibitors recognition and interactions providing fundamental molecular and mechanistic insight into PLpro. All compounds inhibit the peptidase activity of PLpro in vitro, some block SARS-CoV-2 replication in cell culture assays. These findings will accelerate structure-based drug design efforts targeting PLpro to identify high-affinity inhibitors of clinical value.


Subject(s)
Papain/metabolism , Peptide Hydrolases/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Humans , Mutation , Polyproteins/metabolism , Substrate Specificity , Virus Replication/drug effects
19.
Curr Pharm Biotechnol ; 22(15): 2054-2070, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1052466

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: In December 2019, an outbreak of a pneumonia-like illness, Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19), originating from Wuhan, China, was linked to novel coronavirus, now termed SARS-CoV-2. Unfortunately, no effective drugs or vaccines have been reported yet. The main protease (MPRO) remains the most validated pharmacological target for the design and discovery of inhibitors. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of the study was to find a prospective natural scaffold as an inhibitor for MPRO main protease in SARS-CoV-2 and compare it with repurposed antiviral drugs lopinavir and nelfinavir. METHODS: Natural compound libraries were screened for potential scaffold against MPRO main protease. Molecular dynamics simulation, MM-GBSA and principal component analyses of enzyme- ligand complexes were carried out with the top-ranking hits and compared with the repurposed antiviral drugs lopinavir and nelfinavir. RESULTS: The structure-based virtual screening indicated phenylbenzopyrone of flavonoids as one of the top-ranking scaffolds that have the potential to inhibit the main protease with the Oglycosidic form, performing better than the corresponding aglyconic form. Simulation studies indicated that glycosidic form of flavonoid is a more suitable inhibitor with compounds rutin, procyanidin B6, baicalin and galloylquercetin, demonstrating high affinity and stability, and rutin, emerging as one of the best candidate compounds. Interestingly, rutin was reported to have inhibitory activity against similar protease (3Cprotease of enterovirus A71) and implicated in lung fibrosis. CONCLUSION: The present study on flavonoids, possessing a potential scaffold for inhibiting main protease activity for all betacoronavirus is an attempt to provide new and safe drug leads within a reasonably short period.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Flavonoids , Protease Inhibitors , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19 , Flavonoids/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Prospective Studies , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Virus Replication/drug effects
20.
Cardiovasc Pathol ; 50: 107278, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1023485

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). SARS-CoV-2 is closely related to two other coronaviruses that caused disease epidemic breakouts in humans in the last 2 decades, namely, severe acute respiratory distress syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The similarities have enabled the scientists to apply the basic scientific discoveries garnered from studying the structure and modus operandi of SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV to develop therapies that specifically target SARS-CoV-2 and to develop vaccines to prevent COVID-19. Targeted therapies including the use of antibodies to prevent virus entry, nucleotide analogues to prevent viral replication, and inhibitors of proteases to prevent virion formation, among others, are being tested for their clinical efficacy. Likewise, complete sequencing of the SARS-CoV-2 and identification of its structural and nonstructural proteins have enabled development of RNA-, DNA-, and peptide-based vaccines as well attenuated viral vaccines to instigate the host-immune responses. The clinical impacts of the basic science discoveries are amply evident on the rapid pace of progress in developing specific antiviral therapies and vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. The progress emphasizes the merit of discovering the fundamental scientific elements, regardless of whether or not they have apparent or immediate clinical applications.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , Drug Development , Drug Discovery , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Animals , Antiviral Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19/virology , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Molecular Targeted Therapy , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity
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