Effects of NS2B-NS3 protease and furin inhibition on West Nile and Dengue virus replication.
ABSTRACT: West Nile virus (WNV) and Dengue virus (DENV) replication depends on the viral NS2B-NS3 protease and the host enzyme furin, which emerged as potential drug targets. Modification of our previously described WNV protease inhibitors by basic phenylalanine analogs provided compounds with reduced potency against the WNV and DENV protease. In a second series, their decarboxylated P1-trans-(4-guanidino)cyclohexylamide was replaced by an arginyl-amide moiety. Compound 4-(guanidinomethyl)-phenylacetyl-Lys-Lys-Arg-NH2 inhibits the NS2B-NS3 protease of WNV with an inhibition constant of 0.11 µM. Due to the similarity in substrate specificity, we have also tested the potency of our previously described multibasic furin inhibitors. Their further modification provided chimeric inhibitors with additional potency against the WNV and DENV proteases. A strong inhibition of WNV and DENV replication in cell culture was observed for the specific furin inhibitors, which reduced virus titers up to 10,000-fold. These studies reveal that potent inhibitors of furin can block the replication of DENV and WNV.
Project description:Dengue is a mosquito-borne viral hemorrhagic disease that is a major threat to human health in tropical and subtropical regions. Here we report crystal structures of a peptide covalently bound to dengue virus serotype 3 (DENV-3) protease as well as the serine-protease inhibitor aprotinin bound to the same enzyme. These structures reveal, for the first time, a catalytically active, closed conformation of the DENV protease. In the presence of the peptide, the DENV-3 protease forms the closed conformation in which the hydrophilic β-hairpin region of NS2B wraps around the NS3 protease core, in a manner analogous to the structure of West Nile virus (WNV) protease. Our results confirm that flavivirus proteases form the closed conformation during proteolysis, as previously proposed for WNV. The current DENV-3 protease structures reveal the detailed interactions at the P4' to P3 sites of the substrate. The new structural information explains the sequence preference, particularly for long basic residues in the nonprime side, as well as the difference in substrate specificity between the WNV and DENV proteases at the prime side. Structural analysis of the DENV-3 protease-peptide complex revealed a pocket that is formed by residues from NS2B and NS3; this pocket also exists in the WNV NS2B/NS3 protease structure and could be targeted for potential antivirus development. The structural information presented in the current study is invaluable for the design of specific inhibitors of DENV protease.
Project description:West Nile virus (WNV) is a member of the flavivirus genus belonging to the Flaviviridae family. The viral serine protease NS2B/NS3 has been considered an attractive target for the development of anti-WNV agents. Although several NS2B/NS3 protease inhibitors have been described so far, most of them are reversible inhibitors. Herein, we present a series of ?-aminoalkylphosphonate diphenyl esters and their peptidyl derivatives as potent inhibitors of the NS2B/NS3 protease. The most potent inhibitor identified was Cbz-Lys-Arg-(4-GuPhe)<sup>P</sup>(OPh)<sub>2</sub> displaying K<sub>i</sub> and k<sub>2</sub>/K<sub>i</sub> values of 0.4 µM and 28 265 M<sup>-1</sup>s<sup>-1</sup>, respectively, with no significant inhibition of trypsin, cathepsin G, and HAT protease.
Project description:Dengue is a severe epidemic disease caused by dengue virus (DENV) infection, for which no effective treatment is available. The protease complex, consisting of nonstructural protein 3 (NS3) and its cofactor NS2B, plays a pivotal role in the replication of DENV, thus may be a potential target for anti-DENV drugs. Here, we report a novel inhibitor of DENV2 NS2B/NS3 protease and its antiviral action.An enzymatic inhibition assay was used for screening DENV2 NS2B/NS3 inhibitors. Cytotoxicity to BHK-21 cells was assessed with MTT assay. Antiviral activity was evaluated in BHK-21 cells transfected with Rlu-DENV-Rep. The molecular mechanisms of the antiviral action was analyzed using surface plasmon resonance, ultraviolet-visible spectral analysis and differential scanning calorimetry assays, as well as molecular docking analysis combined with site-directed mutagenesis.In our in-house library of old drugs (~1000 compounds), a topical hemostatic and antiseptic 2-hydroxy-3,5-bis[(4-hydroxy-2-methyl-5-sulfophenyl)methyl]-4-methyl-benzene-sulfonic acid (policresulen) was found to be a potent inhibitor of DENV2 NS2B/NS3 protease with IC50 of 0.48 ?g/mL. Furthermore, policresulen inhibited DENV2 replication in BHK-21 cells with IC50 of 4.99 ?g/mL, whereas its IC50 for cytotoxicity to BHK-21 cells was 459.45 ?g/mL. Policresulen acted as a competitive inhibitor of the protease, and slightly affected the protease stability. Using biophysical technology-based assays and molecular docking analysis combined with site-directed mutagenesis, we demonstrated that the residues Gln106 and Arg133 of DENV2 NS2B/NS3 protease directly interacted with policresulen via hydrogen bonding.Policresulen is a potent inhibitor of DENV2 NS2B/NS3 protease that inhibits DENV2 replication in BHK-21 cells. The binding mode of the protease and policresulen provides useful hints for designing new type of inhibitors against the protease.
Project description:West Nile virus (WNV) has recently emerged in North America as a significant disease threat to humans and animals. Unfortunately, no approved antiviral drugs exist to combat WNV or other members of the genus Flavivirus in humans. The WNV NS2B-NS3 protease has been one of the primary targets for anti-WNV drug discovery and design since it is required for virus replication. As part of our efforts to develop effective WNV inhibitors, we reexamined the reaction kinetics of the NS2B-NS3 protease and the inhibition mechanisms of newly discovered inhibitors. The WNV protease showed substrate inhibition in assays utilizing fluorophore-linked peptide substrates GRR, GKR, and DFASGKR. Moreover, a substrate inhibition reaction step was required to accurately model kinetic data generated from protease assays with a peptide inhibitor. The substrate inhibition model suggested that peptide substrates could bind to two binding sites on the protease. Reaction product analogues also showed inhibition of the protease, demonstrating product inhibition in addition to and distinct from substrate inhibition. We propose that small peptide substrates and inhibitors may interact with protease residues that form either the P3-P1 binding surface (i.e., the S3-S1 sites) or the P1'-P3' interaction surface (i.e., the S1'-S3' sites). Optimization of substrate analogue inhibitors that target these two independent sites may lead to novel anti-WNV drugs.
Project description:Dengue virus NS2/NS3 protease because of its ability to cleave viral proteins is considered as an attractive target to screen antiviral agents. Medicinal plants contain a variety of phytochemicals that can be used as drug against different diseases and infections. Therefore, this study was designed to uncover possible phytochemical of different classes (Aromatic, Carbohydrates, Lignin, Saponins, Steroids, Tannins, Terpenoids, Xanthones) that could be used as inhibitors against the NS2B/NS3 protease of DENV. With the help of molecular docking, Garcinia phytochemicals found to be bound deeply inside the active site of DENV NS2B/NS3 protease among all tested phytochemicals and had interactions with catalytic triad (His51, Asp75, Ser135). Thus, it can be concluded from the study that these Gracinia phytochemicals could serve as important inhibitors to inhibit the viral replication inside the host cell. Further in-vitro investigations require confirming their efficacy.
Project description:The mosquito-borne dengue virus serotypes 1-4 (DENV1-4) and West Nile virus (WNV) cause serious illnesses worldwide associated with considerable morbidity and mortality. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, there are about 390 million infections every year leading to ?500,000 dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) cases and ?25,000 deaths, mostly among children. Antiviral therapies could reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with flaviviral infections, but currently there are no drugs available for treatment. In this study, a high-throughput screening assay for the Dengue protease was employed to screen ?120,000 small molecule compounds for identification of inhibitors. Eight of these inhibitors have been extensively analyzed for inhibition of the viral protease in vitro and cell-based viral replication using Renilla luciferase reporter replicon, infectivity (plaque) and cytotoxicity assays. Three of these compounds were identified as potent inhibitors of DENV and WNV proteases, and viral replication of DENV2 replicon and infectious RNA. Fluorescence quenching, kinetic analysis and molecular modeling of these inhibitors into the structure of NS2B-NS3 protease suggest a mode of inhibition for three compounds that they bind to the substrate binding pocket.
Project description:Dengue virus (DENV) causes disease globally, with an estimated 25 to 100 million new infections per year. At present, no effective vaccine is available, and treatment is supportive. In this study, we identified BP2109, a potent and selective small-molecule inhibitor of the DENV NS2B/NS3 protease, by a high-throughput screening assay using a recombinant protease complex consisting of the central hydrophilic portion of NS2B and the N terminus of the protease domain. BP2109 inhibited DENV (serotypes 1 to 4), but not Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), replication and viral RNA synthesis without detectable cytotoxicity. The compound inhibited recombinant DENV-2 NS2B/NS3 protease with a 50% inhibitory concentration (IC(50)) of 15.43 ± 2.12 ?M and reduced the reporter expression of the DENV-2 replicon with a 50% effective concentration (EC(50)) of 0.17 ± 0.01 ?M. Sequencing analyses of several individual clones derived from BP2109-resistant DENV-2 RNAs revealed that two amino acid substitutions (R55K and E80K) are found in the region of NS2B, a cofactor of the NS2B/NS3 protease complex. The introduction of R55K and E80K double mutations into the dengue virus NS2B/NS3 protease and a dengue virus replicon construct conferred 10.3- and 73.8-fold resistance to BP2109, respectively. The E80K mutation was further determined to be the key mutation conferring dengue virus replicon resistance (61.3-fold) to BP2109, whereas the R55K mutation alone did not affect resistance to BP2109. Both the R55K and E80K mutations are located in the central hydrophilic portion of the NS2B cofactor, where extensive interactions with the NS3pro domain exist. Thus, our data provide evidence that BP2109 likely inhibits DENV by a novel mechanism.
Project description:Dengue fever, dengue haemorrhagic fever, and dengue shock syndrome are caused by infections with any of the four serotypes of the dengue virus (DENV), and are an increasing global health risk. The related West Nile virus (WNV) causes significant morbidity and mortality as well, and continues to be a threat in endemic areas. Currently no FDA-approved vaccines or therapeutics are available to prevent or treat any of these infections. Like the other members of Flaviviridae, DENV and WNV encode a protease (NS3) which is essential for viral replication and therefore is a promising target for developing therapies to treat dengue and West Nile infections.Flaviviral protease inhibitors were identified and biologically characterized for mechanism of inhibition and DENV antiviral activity.A guanidinylated 2,5-dideoxystreptamine class of compounds was identified that competitively inhibited the NS3 protease from DENV(1-4) and WNV with 50% inhibitory concentration values in the 1-70 ?M range. Cytotoxicity was low; however, antiviral activity versus DENV-2 on VERO cells was not detectable.This class of compounds is the first to demonstrate competitive pan-dengue and WNV NS3 protease inhibition and, given the sequence conservation among flavivirus NS3 proteins, suggests that developing a pan-dengue or possibly pan-flavivirus therapeutic is feasible.
Project description:Dengue virus (DENV), transmitted predominantly in tropical and subtropical regions by the mosquito Aedes aegypti, infects millions of people and leads to dengue fever and thousands of deaths each year. There are no direct-acting antivirals to combat DENV, and molecular and structural knowledge is required to develop such compounds. The dengue NS2B/NS3 protease is a promising target for direct-acting antivirals, as viral polyprotein cleavage during replication is required for the maturation of the viral particle. The NS2B/NS3 protease processes 8 of the 13 viral polyprotein cleavage sites to allow viral maturation. Although these sites share little sequence homology beyond the P1 and P2 positions, most are well conserved among the serotypes. How the other substrate residues, especially at the P' side, affect substrate recognition remains unclear. We exploited the tight-binding general serine protease inhibitor aprotinin to investigate protease-substrate interactions at the molecular level. We engineered aprotinin's binding loop with sequences mimicking the P' side of DENV substrates. P' residues significantly modulate substrate affinity to protease, with inhibition constants varying from nanomolar to sub-millimolar. Structural and dynamic analysis revealed the molecular basis of this modulation and allowed identifying optimal residues for each of the P' positions. In addition, isothermal titration calorimetry showed binding to be solely entropy driven for all constructs. Potential flaviviral P' side inhibitors could benefit from mimicking the optimal residues at P' positions and incorporate hydrophobicity and rigidity to maintain entropic advantage for potency.
Project description:A series of cyclic active-site-directed inhibitors of the NS2B-NS3 proteases from Zika (ZIKV), West Nile (WNV), and dengue-4 (DENV4) viruses has been designed. The most potent compounds contain a reversely incorporated d-lysine residue in the P1 position. Its side chain is connected to the P2 backbone, its ?-amino group is converted into a guanidine to interact with the conserved Asp129 side chain in the S1 pocket, and its C terminus is connected to the P3 residue via different linker segments. The most potent compounds inhibit the ZIKV protease with Ki values <5?nM. Crystal structures of seven ZIKV protease inhibitor complexes were determined to support the inhibitor design. All the cyclic compounds possess high selectivity against trypsin-like serine proteases and furin-like proprotein convertases. Both WNV and DENV4 proteases are inhibited less efficiently. Nonetheless, similar structure-activity relationships were observed for these enzymes, thus suggesting their potential application as pan-flaviviral protease inhibitors.