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Nelfinavir for COVID-19

Nelfinavir has been reported as potentially beneficial for treatment of COVID-19. We have not reviewed these studies. See all other treatments.
Xu et al., Preventive and therapeutic benefits of nelfinavir in rhesus macaques and human beings infected with SARS-CoV-2, Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy, doi:10.1038/s41392-023-01429-0
AbstractEffective drugs with broad spectrum safety profile to all people are highly expected to combat COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2. Here we report that nelfinavir, an FDA approved drug for the treatment of HIV infection, is effective against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Preincubation of nelfinavir could inhibit the activity of the main protease of the SARS-CoV-2 (IC50 = 8.26 μM), while its antiviral activity in Vero E6 cells against a clinical isolate of SARS-CoV-2 was determined to be 2.93 μM (EC50). In comparison with vehicle-treated animals, rhesus macaque prophylactically treated with nelfinavir had significantly lower temperature and significantly reduced virus loads in the nasal and anal swabs of the animals. At necropsy, nelfinavir-treated animals had a significant reduction of the viral replication in the lungs by nearly three orders of magnitude. A prospective clinic study with 37 enrolled treatment-naive patients at Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, which were randomized (1:1) to nelfinavir and control groups, showed that the nelfinavir treatment could shorten the duration of viral shedding by 5.5 days (9.0 vs. 14.5 days, P = 0.055) and the duration of fever time by 3.8 days (2.8 vs. 6.6 days, P = 0.014) in mild/moderate COVID-19 patients. The antiviral efficiency and clinical benefits in rhesus macaque model and in COVID-19 patients, together with its well-established good safety profile in almost all ages and during pregnancy, indicated that nelfinavir is a highly promising medication with the potential of preventative effect for the treatment of COVID-19.
Freidel et al., Research Progress on Spike-Dependent SARS-CoV-2 Fusion Inhibitors and Small Molecules Targeting the S2 Subunit of Spike, Viruses, doi:10.3390/v16050712
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, extensive drug repurposing efforts have sought to identify small-molecule antivirals with various mechanisms of action. Here, we aim to review research progress on small-molecule viral entry and fusion inhibitors that directly bind to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein. Early in the pandemic, numerous small molecules were identified in drug repurposing screens and reported to be effective in in vitro SARS-CoV-2 viral entry or fusion inhibitors. However, given minimal experimental information regarding the exact location of small-molecule binding sites on Spike, it was unclear what the specific mechanism of action was or where the exact binding sites were on Spike for some inhibitor candidates. The work of countless researchers has yielded great progress, with the identification of many viral entry inhibitors that target elements on the S1 receptor-binding domain (RBD) or N-terminal domain (NTD) and disrupt the S1 receptor-binding function. In this review, we will also focus on highlighting fusion inhibitors that target inhibition of the S2 fusion function, either by disrupting the formation of the postfusion S2 conformation or alternatively by stabilizing structural elements of the prefusion S2 conformation to prevent conformational changes associated with S2 function. We highlight experimentally validated binding sites on the S1/S2 interface and on the S2 subunit. While most substitutions to the Spike protein to date in variants of concern (VOCs) have been localized to the S1 subunit, the S2 subunit sequence is more conserved, with only a few observed substitutions in proximity to S2 binding sites. Several recent small molecules targeting S2 have been shown to have robust activity over recent VOC mutant strains and/or greater broad-spectrum antiviral activity for other more distantly related coronaviruses.
Ohaekenyem et al., Activity profiling of natural and synthetic SARS-Cov-2 inhibitors using molecular docking analysis, Pure and Applied Chemistry, doi:10.1515/pac-2024-0012
Abstract COVID-19, the global pandemic caused by SARS-Corona virus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), recently ravaged the World with various efforts charged towards finding therapeutic drug targets for this novel virus. The identification of COVID-19 main protease (Mpro) opened the possibility of testing new families of inhibitors as potential anti-coronaviral drugs. Protein-drug interaction is of pivotal importance to understanding the structural features essential for any ligand affinity. This study evaluated the efficacy of an isolated bioactive plant compound and synthetic tetraazamacrocycles against COVID-19 Mpro by molecular docking. Molecular docking investigations were performed using PyRx, Auto Dock vina and Discovery Studio (DS) to analyze the inhibition probability of these compounds against COVID-19. COVID-19 Mpro (PDB ID: 6LU7: Resolution 2.16 Å) was docked with 1 flavonoid and 3 tetraaza-macrocyclic compounds comparatively with known anti-viral drugs (Remdesivir (REMD) and Nelfinavir (NELF)) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Docking studies showed H-TEAD, 5 interacting with 5 residues having the highest binding affinity of −9.4 kcal/mol, followed by TEAD with 5 residue interactions and a binding affinity value of −9.4 kcal/mol, HA-TEAD, 7 has 5 interactions with a binding affinity of −9.3 kcal/mol, and Siam1 has 6 interactions with a binding energy of −7.8 kcal/mol. All the docked potential drugs have binding energies higher than the reference drugs HCQ, 1 and REMD, 2 connoting greater activity except NELF, 3 whose value is only lower than the 3 macrocycles (HA-TEAD, 7 and H-TEAD, 5 and TEA1, 6). They are bound through hydrogen bonds, arene-anion and arene-cation interactions. The trend of binding affinity show H-TEAD (−9.4 kcal/mol) = TEAD1 (−9.4 kcal/mol) > HA-TEAD (−9.3 kcal/mol) > NELF (−8.7 kcal/mol) > Siamone (−8.8 kcal/mol) > HCQ (−7.2 kcal/mol) > REMD (−6.2 kcal/mol) while the number of interactions shows REMD > HA-TEAD = HCQ > Siamone > NELF > H-TEAD > TEAD1. This study, hence, validates the activity of HCQ against COVID-19 and provides a foundation for advanced experimental research, to evaluate the real pharmaceutical potentials of these compounds, towards finding a cure for COVID-19 and other related diseases.
Masoudi-Sobhanzadeh et al., Structure-based drug repurposing against COVID-19 and emerging infectious diseases: methods, resources and discoveries, Briefings in Bioinformatics, doi:10.1093/bib/bbab113
AbstractTo attain promising pharmacotherapies, researchers have applied drug repurposing (DR) techniques to discover the candidate medicines to combat the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Although many DR approaches have been introduced for treating different diseases, only structure-based DR (SBDR) methods can be employed as the first therapeutic option against the COVID-19 pandemic because they rely on the rudimentary information about the diseases such as the sequence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 genome. Hence, to try out new treatments for the disease, the first attempts have been made based on the SBDR methods which seem to be among the proper choices for discovering the potential medications against the emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. Given the importance of SBDR approaches, in the present review, well-known SBDR methods are summarized, and their merits are investigated. Then, the databases and software applications, utilized for repurposing the drugs against COVID-19, are introduced. Besides, the identified drugs are categorized based on their targets. Finally, a comparison is made between the SBDR approaches and other DR methods, and some possible future directions are proposed.
Sharun et al., A comprehensive review on pharmacologic agents, immunotherapies and supportive therapeutics for COVID-19, Narra J, doi:10.52225/narra.v2i3.92
The emergence of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has affected many countries throughout the world. As urgency is a necessity, most efforts have focused on identifying small molecule drugs that can be repurposed for use as anti-SARS-CoV-2 agents. Although several drug candidates have been identified using in silico method and in vitro studies, most of these drugs require the support of in vivo data before they can be considered for clinical trials. Several drugs are considered promising therapeutic agents for COVID-19. In addition to the direct-acting antiviral drugs, supportive therapies including traditional Chinese medicine, immunotherapies, immunomodulators, and nutritional therapy could contribute a major role in treating COVID-19 patients. Some of these drugs have already been included in the treatment guidelines, recommendations, and standard operating procedures. In this article, we comprehensively review the approved and potential therapeutic drugs, immune cells-based therapies, immunomodulatory agents/drugs, herbs and plant metabolites, nutritional and dietary for COVID-19.
Katre et al., Review on development of potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 main protease (MPro), Future Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, doi:10.1186/s43094-022-00423-7
Abstract Background The etiological agent for the coronavirus illness outbreak in 2019–2020 is a novel coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) (COVID-19), whereas coronavirus disease pandemic of 2019 (COVID-19) has compelled the implementation of novel therapeutic options. Main body of the abstract There are currently no targeted therapeutic medicines for this condition, and effective treatment options are quite restricted; however, new therapeutic candidates targeting the viral replication cycle are being investigated. The primary protease of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 virus is a major target for therapeutic development (MPro). Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus, and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) all seem to have a structurally conserved substrate-binding domain that can be used to develop novel protease inhibitors. Short conclusion With the recent publication of the X-ray crystal structure of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 Mm, virtual and in vitro screening investigations to find MPro inhibitors are fast progressing. The focus of this review is on recent advancements in the quest for small-molecule inhibitors of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 main protease.
Farag et al., Identification of FDA Approved Drugs Targeting COVID-19 Virus by Structure-Based Drug Repositioning, American Chemical Society (ACS), doi:10.26434/chemrxiv.12003930.v1
The new strain of Coronaviruses (SARS-CoV-2), and the resulting Covid-19 disease has spread swiftly across the globe after its initial detection in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China, resulting in a pandemic status declaration by WHO within 3 months. Given the heavy toll of this pandemic, researchers are actively testing various strategies including new and repurposed drugs as well as vaccines. In the current brief report, we adopted a repositioning approach using insilico molecular modeling screening using FDA approved drugs with established safety profiles for potential inhibitory effects on Covid-19 virus. We started with structure based drug design by screening more than 2000 FDA approved drugsagainst Covid-19 virus main protease enzyme (Mpro) substrate-binding pocket to identify potential hits based on their binding energies, binding modes, interacting amino acids, and therapeutic indications. In addition, we elucidate preliminary pharmacophore features for candidates bound to Covid-19 virus Mpro substratebinding pocket. The top hits include anti-viral drugs such as Darunavir, Nelfinavirand Saquinavir, some of which are already being tested in Covid-19 patients. Interestingly, one of the most promising hits in our screen is the hypercholesterolemia drug Rosuvastatin. These results certainly do not confirm or indicate antiviral activity, but can rather be used as a starting point for further in vitro and in vivo testing, either individually or in combination.
Kumar et al., In Silico Identification and Docking-Based Drug Repurposing Against the Main Protease of SARS-CoV-2, Causative Agent of COVID-19, American Chemical Society (ACS), doi:10.26434/chemrxiv.12049590.v1
The rapidly enlarging COVID-19 pandemic caused by novel SARS-coronavirus 2 is a globalpublic health emergency of unprecedented level. Therefore the need of a drug or vaccine thatcounter SARS-CoV-2 is an utmost requirement at this time. Upon infection the ssRNA genomeof SARS-CoV-2 is translated into large polyprotein which further processed into differentnonstructural proteins to form viral replication complex by virtue of virus specific proteases:main protease (3-CL protease) and papain protease. This indispensable function of main proteasein virus replication makes this enzyme a promising target for the development of inhibitors andpotential treatment therapy for novel coronavirus infection. The recently concluded α-ketoamideligand bound X-ray crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro (PDB ID: 6Y2F) from Zhang et al.has revealed the potential inhibitor binding mechanism and the determinants responsible forinvolved molecular interactions. Here, we have carried out a virtual screening and moleculardocking study of FDA approved drugs primarily targeted for other viral infections, to investigatetheir binding affinity in Mpro active site. Virtual screening has identified a number of antiviraldrugs, top ten of which on the basis of their bending energy score are further examined through molecular docking with Mpro. Docking studies revealed that drug Lopinavir-Ritonavir, Tipranavirand Raltegravir among others binds in the active site of the protease with similar or higheraffinity than the crystal bound inhibitor α-ketoamide. However, the in-vitro efficacies of the drugmolecules tested in this study, further needs to be corroborated by carrying out biochemical andstructural investigation. Moreover, this study advances the potential use of existing drugs to beinvestigated and used to contain the rapidly expanding SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Li et al., Therapeutic Drugs Targeting 2019-nCoV Main Protease by High-Throughput Screening, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.01.28.922922
Abstract2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus identified as the cause of the outbreak of pneumonia first detected in Wuhan, China. Investigations on the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with this virus are ongoing. Currently, there is no vaccine or therapeutic antibody to prevent the infection, and more time is required to develop an effective immune strategy against the pathogen. In contrast, specific inhibitors targeting the key protease involved in replication and proliferation of the virus are the most effective means to alleviate the epidemic. The main protease of SARS-CoV is essential for the life cycle of the virus, which showed 96.1% of similarity with the main proteaseof 2019-nCoV, is considered to be an attractive target for drug development. In this study, we have identified 4 small molecular drugs with high binding capacity with SARS-CoV main protease by high-throughput screening based on the 8,000 clinical drug libraries, all these drugs have been widely used in clinical applications with guaranteed safety, which may serve as promising candidates to treat the infection of 2019-nCoV.
Ghahremanpour et al., Identification of 14 Known Drugs as Inhibitors of the Main Protease of SARS-CoV-2, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2020.08.28.271957
AbstractA consensus virtual screening protocol has been applied to ca. 2000 approved drugs to seek inhibitors of the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19. 42 drugs emerged as top candidates, and after visual analyses of the predicted structures of their complexes with Mpro, 17 were chosen for evaluation in a kinetic assay for Mpro inhibition. Remarkably 14 of the compounds at 100-μM concentration were found to reduce the enzymatic activity and 5 provided IC50 values below 40 μM: manidipine (4.8 μM), boceprevir (5.4 μM), lercanidipine (16.2 μM), bedaquiline (18.7 μM), and efonidipine (38.5 μM). Structural analyses reveal a common cloverleaf pattern for the binding of the active compounds to the P1, P1’, and P2 pockets of Mpro. Further study of the most active compounds in the context of COVID-19 therapy is warranted, while all of the active compounds may provide a foundation for lead optimization to deliver valuable chemotherapeutics to combat the pandemic.
Jan et al., Identification of existing pharmaceuticals and herbal medicines as inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 infection, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi:10.1073/pnas.2021579118
Significance COVID-19 is a global pandemic currently lacking an effective cure. We used a cell-based infection assay to screen more than 3,000 agents used in humans and animals and identified 15 with antiinfective activity, ranging from 0.1 nM to 50 μM. We then used in vitro enzymatic assays combined with computer modeling to confirm the activity of those against the viral protease and RNA polymerase. In addition, several herbal medicines were found active in the cell-based infection assay. To further evaluate the efficacy of these promising compounds in animal models, we developed a challenge assay with hamsters and found that mefloquine, nelfinavir, and extracts of Ganoderma lucidum (RF3), Perilla frutescens , and Mentha haplocalyx were effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Rodon et al., Identification of Plitidepsin as Potent Inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2-Induced Cytopathic Effect After a Drug Repurposing Screen, Frontiers in Pharmacology, doi:10.3389/fphar.2021.646676
There is an urgent need to identify therapeutics for the treatment of Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Although different antivirals are given for the clinical management of SARS-CoV-2 infection, their efficacy is still under evaluation. Here, we have screened existing drugs approved for human use in a variety of diseases, to compare how they counteract SARS-CoV-2-induced cytopathic effect and viral replication in vitro. Among the potential 72 antivirals tested herein that were previously proposed to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection, only 18 % had an IC50 below 25 µM or 102 IU/ml. These included plitidepsin, novel cathepsin inhibitors, nelfinavir mesylate hydrate, interferon 2-alpha, interferon-gamma, fenofibrate, camostat along the well-known remdesivir and chloroquine derivatives. Plitidepsin was the only clinically approved drug displaying nanomolar efficacy. Four of these families, including novel cathepsin inhibitors, blocked viral entry in a cell—type specific manner. Since the most effective antivirals usually combine therapies that tackle the virus at different steps of infection, we also assessed several drug combinations. Although no particular synergy was found, inhibitory combinations did not reduce their antiviral activity. Thus, these combinations could decrease the potential emergence of resistant viruses. Antivirals prioritized herein identify novel compounds and their mode of action, while independently replicating the activity of a reduced proportion of drugs which are mostly approved for clinical use. Combinations of these drugs should be tested in animal models to inform the design of fast track clinical trials.
Tsegay et al., A repurposed drug screen identifies compounds that inhibit the binding of the COVID-19 spike protein to ACE2, bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2021.04.08.439071
AbstractRepurposed drugs that block the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its receptor ACE2 could offer a rapid route to novel COVID-19 treatments or prophylactics. Here, we screened 2701 compounds from a commercial library of drugs approved by international regulatory agencies for their ability to inhibit the binding of recombinant, trimeric SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to recombinant human ACE2. We identified 56 compounds that inhibited binding by <90%, measured the EC50 of binding inhibition, and computationally modeled the docking of the best inhibitors to both Spike and ACE2. These results highlight an effective screening approach to identify compounds capable of disrupting the Spike-ACE2 interaction as well as identifying several potential inhibitors that could serve as templates for future drug discovery efforts.
Bakowski et al., Drug repurposing screens identify chemical entities for the development of COVID-19 interventions, Nature Communications, doi:10.1038/s41467-021-23328-0
AbstractThe ongoing pandemic caused by the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), necessitates strategies to identify prophylactic and therapeutic drug candidates for rapid clinical deployment. Here, we describe a screening pipeline for the discovery of efficacious SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors. We screen a best-in-class drug repurposing library, ReFRAME, against two high-throughput, high-content imaging infection assays: one using HeLa cells expressing SARS-CoV-2 receptor ACE2 and the other using lung epithelial Calu-3 cells. From nearly 12,000 compounds, we identify 49 (in HeLa-ACE2) and 41 (in Calu-3) compounds capable of selectively inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 replication. Notably, most screen hits are cell-line specific, likely due to different virus entry mechanisms or host cell-specific sensitivities to modulators. Among these promising hits, the antivirals nelfinavir and the parent of prodrug MK-4482 possess desirable in vitro activity, pharmacokinetic and human safety profiles, and both reduce SARS-CoV-2 replication in an orthogonal human differentiated primary cell model. Furthermore, MK-4482 effectively blocks SARS-CoV-2 infection in a hamster model. Overall, we identify direct-acting antivirals as the most promising compounds for drug repurposing, additional compounds that may have value in combination therapies, and tool compounds for identification of viral host cell targets.
Sokouti, B., A review on in silico virtual screening methods in COVID-19 using anticancer drugs and other natural/chemical inhibitors, Exploration of Targeted Anti-tumor Therapy, doi:10.37349/etat.2023.00177
The present coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic scenario has posed a difficulty for cancer treatment. Even under ideal conditions, malignancies like small cell lung cancer (SCLC) are challenging to treat because of their fast development and early metastases. The treatment of these patients must not be jeopardized, and they must be protected as much as possible from the continuous spread of the COVID-19 infection. Initially identified in December 2019 in Wuhan, China, the contagious coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19) is caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Finding inhibitors against the druggable targets of SARS-CoV-2 has been a significant focus of research efforts across the globe. The primary motivation for using molecular modeling tools against SARS-CoV-2 was to identify candidates for use as therapeutic targets from a pharmacological database. In the published study, scientists used a combination of medication repurposing and virtual drug screening methodologies to target many structures of SARS-CoV-2. This virus plays an essential part in the maturation and replication of other viruses. In addition, the total binding free energy and molecular dynamics (MD) modeling findings showed that the dynamics of various medications and substances were stable; some of them have been tested experimentally against SARS-CoV-2. Different virtual screening (VS) methods have been discussed as potential means by which the evaluated medications that show strong binding to the active site might be repurposed for use against SARS-CoV-2.
Mushebenge et al., Assessing the Potential Contribution of In Silico Studies in Discovering Drug Candidates That Interact with Various SARS-CoV-2 Receptors, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, doi:10.3390/ijms242115518
The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred intense research efforts to identify effective treatments for SARS-CoV-2. In silico studies have emerged as a powerful tool in the drug discovery process, particularly in the search for drug candidates that interact with various SARS-CoV-2 receptors. These studies involve the use of computer simulations and computational algorithms to predict the potential interaction of drug candidates with target receptors. The primary receptors targeted by drug candidates include the RNA polymerase, main protease, spike protein, ACE2 receptor, and transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2). In silico studies have identified several promising drug candidates, including Remdesivir, Favipiravir, Ribavirin, Ivermectin, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, and Camostat Mesylate, among others. The use of in silico studies offers several advantages, including the ability to screen a large number of drug candidates in a relatively short amount of time, thereby reducing the time and cost involved in traditional drug discovery methods. Additionally, in silico studies allow for the prediction of the binding affinity of the drug candidates to target receptors, providing insight into their potential efficacy. This study is aimed at assessing the useful contributions of the application of computational instruments in the discovery of receptors targeted in SARS-CoV-2. It further highlights some identified advantages and limitations of these studies, thereby revealing some complementary experimental validation to ensure the efficacy and safety of identified drug candidates.
Lou et al., Potential Target Discovery and Drug Repurposing for Coronaviruses: Study Involving a Knowledge Graph–Based Approach, Journal of Medical Internet Research, doi:10.2196/45225
Background The global pandemics of severe acute respiratory syndrome, Middle East respiratory syndrome, and COVID-19 have caused unprecedented crises for public health. Coronaviruses are constantly evolving, and it is unknown which new coronavirus will emerge and when the next coronavirus will sweep across the world. Knowledge graphs are expected to help discover the pathogenicity and transmission mechanism of viruses. Objective The aim of this study was to discover potential targets and candidate drugs to repurpose for coronaviruses through a knowledge graph–based approach. Methods We propose a computational and evidence-based knowledge discovery approach to identify potential targets and candidate drugs for coronaviruses from biomedical literature and well-known knowledge bases. To organize the semantic triples extracted automatically from biomedical literature, a semantic conversion model was designed. The literature knowledge was associated and integrated with existing drug and gene knowledge through semantic mapping, and the coronavirus knowledge graph (CovKG) was constructed. We adopted both the knowledge graph embedding model and the semantic reasoning mechanism to discover unrecorded mechanisms of drug action as well as potential targets and drug candidates. Furthermore, we have provided evidence-based support with a scoring and backtracking mechanism. Results The constructed CovKG contains 17,369,620 triples, of which 641,195 were extracted from biomedical literature, covering 13,065 concept unique identifiers, 209 semantic types, and 97 semantic relations of the Unified Medical Language System. Through multi-source knowledge integration, 475 drugs and 262 targets were mapped to existing knowledge, and 41 new drug mechanisms of action were found by semantic reasoning, which were not recorded in the existing knowledge base. Among the knowledge graph embedding models, TransR outperformed others (mean reciprocal rank=0.2510, Hits@10=0.3505). A total of 33 potential targets and 18 drug candidates were identified for coronaviruses. Among them, 7 novel drugs (ie, quinine, nelfinavir, ivermectin, asunaprevir, tylophorine, Artemisia annua extract, and resveratrol) and 3 highly ranked targets (ie, angiotensin converting enzyme 2, transmembrane serine protease 2, and M protein) were further discussed. Conclusions We showed the effectiveness of a knowledge graph–based approach in potential target discovery and drug repurposing for coronaviruses. Our approach can be extended to other viruses or diseases for biomedical knowledge discovery and relevant applications.
Tsegay et al., A Repurposed Drug Screen Identifies Compounds That Inhibit the Binding of the COVID-19 Spike Protein to ACE2, Frontiers in Pharmacology, doi:10.3389/fphar.2021.685308
Repurposed drugs that block the interaction between the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its receptor ACE2 could offer a rapid route to novel COVID-19 treatments or prophylactics. Here, we screened 2,701 compounds from a commercial library of drugs approved by international regulatory agencies for their ability to inhibit the binding of recombinant, trimeric SARS-CoV-2 spike protein to recombinant human ACE2. We identified 56 compounds that inhibited binding in a concentration-dependent manner, measured the IC50of binding inhibition, and computationally modeled the docking of the best inhibitors to the Spike-ACE2 binding interface. The best candidates were Thiostrepton, Oxytocin, Nilotinib, and Hydroxycamptothecin with IC50’s in the 4–9 μM range. These results highlight an effective screening approach to identify compounds capable of disrupting the Spike-ACE2 interaction, as well as identify several potential inhibitors of the Spike-ACE2 interaction.
Mushebenge et al., Assessing the Potential Contribution of in Silico Studies in Discovering Drug Candidates that Interact with Various SARS-CoV-2 Receptors, MDPI AG, doi:10.20944/preprints202308.0434.v1
COVID-19 pandemic has spurred intense research efforts to identify effective treatments for SARS-CoV-2. In silico studies have emerged as a powerful tool in the drug discovery process, particularly in the search for drug candidates that interact with various SARS-CoV-2 receptors. These studies involve the use of computer simulations and computational algorithms to predict the potential interaction of drug candidates with target receptors. The primary receptors targeted by drug candidates include the RNA polymerase, main protease, spike protein, ACE2 receptor, TMPRSS2, and AP2-associated protein kinase 1. In silico studies have identified several promising drug candidates, including Remdesivir, Favipiravir, Ribavirin, Ivermectin, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, and Camostat mesylate, among others. The use of in silico studies offers several advantages, including the ability to screen a large number of drug candidates in a relatively short amount of time, thereby reducing the time and cost involved in traditional drug discovery methods. Additionally, in silico studies allow for the prediction of the binding affinity of drug candidates to target receptors, providing insight into their potential efficacy. However, it is crucial to consider both the advantages and limitations of these studies and to complement them with experimental validation to ensure the efficacy and safety of identified drug candidates.
AKBABA et al., Phytochemicals of Hibiscus sabdariffa with Therapeutic Potential against SARS-CoV-2: A Molecular Docking Study, Journal of the Institute of Science and Technology, doi:10.21597/jist.1187616
In this study, the possible interactions of 17 phytochemicals that were reported as the most abundant biomolecules of Hibiscus sabdariffa, including many organic acids as well as catechin and quercetin derivatives, with 3CLpro and PLpro proteases of SARS-CoV-2 have been investigated via molecular docking. Caffeoylshikimic acid/3CLpro showed the lowest binding energy (-7.72 kcal/mol) with seven H-bonds. The second-lowest binding energy was computed in the chlorogenic acid/3CLpro complex (-7.18 kcal/mol), which was found to form 6 H-bonds. Also, low binding energies of cianidanol (-7.10 kcal/mol), cryptochlorogenic acid (-6.67 kcal/mol), and kaempferol (-6.82 kcal/mol) were calculated to 3CLpro with several H-bond interactions. Nelfinavir (-10.16 kcal/mol) and remdesivir (-6.40 kcal/mol), which have been used against COVID-19, were obtained to have low binding energies to 3CLpro with 3 H-bond formations each. On the other hand, the nicotiflorin/PLpro complex, which had the lowest binding energy (-7.40 kcal/mol), was found to have only 1 H-bond interaction. The second-lowest binding energy was reported in chlorogenic acid/PLpro (-7.20 kcal/mol), which was found to possess four H-bonds. On the other hand, epigallocatechin gallate/PLpro, which was shown to have a -5.95 kcal/mol binding energy, was found to form 8 H-bond interactions. Furthermore, the quercetin pentosylhexoside/PLpro complex was monitored to have low binding energy (-6.54 kcal/mol) with 9 H-bonds, which stands as the highest number of H-bonds in all complexes. Therefore, several molecules of Hibiscus sabdariffa were found to have strong binding affinity to the main proteases of SARS-CoV-2. This study suggests many compounds, including caffeoylshikimic acid and nicotiflorin, to inhibit 3CLpro and PLpro activities. As a result, numerous chemicals derived from Hibiscus sabdariffa have the potential to be employed therapeutically against SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Wang et al., Repurposing Drugs for the Treatment of COVID-19 and Its Cardiovascular Manifestations, Circulation Research, doi:10.1161/circresaha.122.321879
COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 leading to the ongoing global pandemic. Infected patients developed a range of respiratory symptoms, including respiratory failure, as well as other extrapulmonary complications. Multiple comorbidities, including hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and chronic kidney diseases, are associated with the severity and increased mortality of COVID-19. SARS-CoV-2 infection also causes a range of cardiovascular complications, including myocarditis, myocardial injury, heart failure, arrhythmias, acute coronary syndrome, and venous thromboembolism. Although a variety of methods have been developed and many clinical trials have been launched for drug repositioning for COVID-19, treatments that consider cardiovascular manifestations and cardiovascular disease comorbidities specifically are limited. In this review, we summarize recent advances in drug repositioning for COVID-19, including experimental drug repositioning, high-throughput drug screening, omics data-based, and network medicine-based computational drug repositioning, with particular attention on those drug treatments that consider cardiovascular manifestations of COVID-19. We discuss prospective opportunities and potential methods for repurposing drugs to treat cardiovascular complications of COVID-19.
Ali et al., Computational Prediction of Nigella sativa Compounds as Potential Drug Agents for Targeting Spike Protein of SARS-CoV-2, Pakistan BioMedical Journal, doi:10.54393/pbmj.v6i3.853
SARS-CoV-2 was first identified in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and has rapidly devastated worldwide. The lack of approved therapeutic drugs has intensified the global situation, so researchers are seeking potential treatments using regular drug agents and traditional herbs as well. Objectives: To identify new therapeutic agents from Nigella sativa against spike protein (PDB ID: 7BZ5) of SARS-CoV-2. Methods: The 46 compounds from N. sativa were docked with spike protein using Molecular Operating Environment (MOE) software and compared with commercially available anti-viral drugs e.g., Arbidol, Favipiravir, Remdesivir, Nelfinavir, Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine. The Molecular Dynamic Simulation (MDS) analysis was also applied to determine ligand-protein complex stability. Furthermore, the pharmacological properties of compounds were also analyzed using AdmetSAR and SwissADME. Results: Out of its total 46 ligands, 8 compounds i.e., Methyl stearate, Eicosadienoic acid, Oleic acid, Stearic acid, Linoleic acid, Myristoleic acid, Palmitic acid, and Farnesol were selected for further analysis based on their minimum binding energy ranges from -7.45 to -7.07 kcal/mol. The docking scores of N. sativa phytocompounds were similar to drugs taken as control. Moreover, post simulation analysis of Methyl stearate complex predicted the most stable conformer. Conclusions: Further, in-vivo experiments are suggested to validate the medicinal use of Methyl stearate as potential inhibitors against spike protein of SARS-CoV-2.
Khaerunnisa et al., Potential Inhibitor of COVID-19 Main Protease (M<sup>pro</sup>) From Several Medicinal Plant Compounds by Molecular Docking Study, MDPI AG, doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0226.v1
COVID-19, a new strain of coronavirus (CoV), was identified in Wuhan, China, in 2019. No specific therapies are available and investigations regarding COVID-19 treatment are lacking. Liu et al. (2020) successfully crystallised the COVID-19 main protease (Mpro), which is a potential drug target. The present study aimed to assess bioactive compounds found in medicinal plants as potential COVID-19 Mpro inhibitors, using a molecular docking study. Molecular docking was performed using Autodock 4.2, with the Lamarckian Genetic Algorithm, to analyse the probability of docking. COVID-19 Mpro was docked with several compounds, and docking was analysed by Autodock 4.2, Pymol version Edu, and Biovia Discovery Studio 4.5. Nelfinavir and lopinavir were used as standards for comparison. The binding energies obtained from the docking of 6LU7 with native ligand, nelfinavir, lopinavir, kaempferol, quercetin, luteolin-7-glucoside, demethoxycurcumin, naringenin, apigenin-7-glucoside, oleuropein, curcumin, catechin, epicatechin-gallate, zingerol, gingerol, and allicin were -8.37, -10.72, -9.41, -8.58, -8.47, -8.17, -7.99, -7.89, -7.83, -7.31, -7.05, -7.24, -6.67, -5.40, -5.38, and -4.03 kcal/mol, respectively. Therefore, nelfinavir and lopinavir may represent potential treatment options, and kaempferol, quercetin, luteolin-7-glucoside, demethoxycurcumin, naringenin, apigenin-7-glucoside, oleuropein, curcumin, catechin, and epicatechin-gallate appeared to have the best potential to act as COVID-19 Mpro inhibitors. However, further research is necessary to investigate their potential medicinal use.
Gidari et al., Nelfinavir: An Old Ally in the COVID-19 Fight?, Microorganisms, doi:10.3390/microorganisms10122471
After almost three years of the pandemic, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is still spreading around the world, causing notable sanitary and social issues. New antiviral therapies are constantly under investigation. However, few options have been approved for the treatment of COVID-19. Clinical trials are currently ongoing to evaluate the efficacy of nelfinavir on mild–moderate COVID-19. This study aims to investigate the activity of this compound on SARS-CoV-2 “Variants of Concern” (VOCs), comparing its effectiveness with the approved drugs remdesivir and molnupiravir. The experiments were conducted in a biosafety level 3 facility. In this study, we used a Vero-E6-cell-based infection assay to investigate the in vitro activity of nelfinavir, molnupiravir, and remdesivir. Four strains of SARS-CoV-2 were tested: 20A.EU1, B.1.1.7, P.1, and B.1.617.2. All compounds reached micromolar/submicromolar EC50, EC90, and EC99. Furthermore, the Cmax/EC50 and Cmax/EC90 ratios were &gt;1 for all compounds and all variants tested. Our study demonstrated that nelfinavir, as molnupiravir, and remdesivir are effective in vitro on SARS-CoV-2 variants.
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