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A multi-stage virtual screening of FDA-approved drugs reveals potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 main protease.


ABSTRACT: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is an ongoing global health emergency. Repurposing of approved pharmaceutical drugs for COVID-19 treatment represents an attractive approach to quickly identify promising drug candidates. SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) is responsible for the maturation of viral functional proteins making it a key antiviral target. Based on the recently revealed crystal structures of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, we herein describe a multi-stage virtual screening protocol including pharmacophore screening, molecular docking and protein-ligand interaction fingerprints (PLIF) post-docking filtration for efficient enrichment of potent SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors. Potential hits, along with a cocrystallized control were further studied via molecular dynamics. A 150-ns production trajectory was followed by RMSD, free energy calculation, and H-bond analysis for each compound. The applied virtual screening protocol led to identification of five FDA-approved drugs with promising binding modes to key subsites of the substrate-binding pocket of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. The identified compounds belong to different pharmaceutical classes, including several protease inhibitors, antineoplastic agents and a natural flavonoid. The drug candidates discovered in this study present a potential extension of the recently reported SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibitors that have been identified using other virtual screening protocols and may be repurposed for COVID-19 treatment.

SUBMITTER: Mandour YM 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC7597227 | BioStudies | 2020-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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