Repurposing the antibacterial drugs for inhibition of SARS-CoV2-PLpro using molecular docking, MD simulation and binding energy calculation.
ABSTRACT: Papain-like protease (nsp-3; non-structural protein) of novel corona virus is an ideal target for developing drugs as it plays multiple important functions for viral growth and replication. For instance, role of nsp-3 has been recognized in cleavage of viral polyprotein; furthermore, in infected host it weakens the immune system via downregulating the production of type I interferon. This downregulation is promoted by removal of ubiquitin-like interferon-stimulated gene 15 protein (ISG15) from interferon-responsive factor 3 (IRF3) protein. Among known inhibitors of SARS-CoV-PLpro GRL0617 is by far the most effective inhibitor. As PLpro of SARS-CoV2 is having more than 80% similarity with SARS-CoV-PLpro, GRL0617 is reported to be effective even against SARS-CoV2. Owing to this similarity, certain key amino acids remain the same/conserved in both proteins. Among conserved amino acids Tyr268 for SARS-CoV2 and Tyr269 for SARS-CoV produce important hydrophobic interactions with aromatic rings of GRL0617. Here, in this study antibacterial compounds were collected from ZINC database, and they were filtered to select compounds that are having similar structural features as GRL0617. This filtered library of compound was then docked with SARS-CoV and CoV2-PLpro. Five hits were noted that were able to interact with Tyr268 (SARS-CoV2) and Tyr269 (SARS-CoV). Further, best hit 2-(2-((benzofuran-2-carboxamido)methyl)-5-methoxy-1H-indol-1-yl)acetic acid (ZINC44459905) was studied using molecular dynamic simulation where stability of protein-ligand complex as well as stability of produced interactions was noted.
Project description:The non-structural protein (nsp)-3 of SARS-CoV2 coronavirus is sought to be an essential target protein which is also named as papain-like protease (PLpro). This protease cleaves the viral polyprotein, but importantly in human host it also removes ubiquitin-like interferon-stimulated gene 15 protein (ISG15) from interferon responsive factor 3 (IRF3) protein which ultimately downregulates the production of type I interferon leading to weakening of immune response. GRL0617 is the most potent known inhibitor for PLpro that was initially developed for SARS outbreak of 2003. The PLpro of SARS-CoV and CoV2 share 83% sequence identity but interestingly have several identical conserved amino acids that suggests GRL0617 to be an effective inhibitor for PLpro of SARS-CoV2. GRL0617 is a naphthalene-based molecule and interacts with Tyr268 of SARS-CoV2-PLpro (and Tyr269 of SARS-CoV-PLpro). To identify PLpro inhibitors, we prepared a library of secondary metabolites from fungi with aromatic nature and docked them with PLpro of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV2. We found six hits which interacts with Tyr268 of SARS-CoV2-PLpro (and Tyr269 of SARS-CoV-PLpro). More surprisingly the top hit, Fonsecin, has naphthalene moiety in its structure, which recruits Tyr268 of SARS-CoV2-PLpro (and Tyr269 of SARS-CoV-PLpro) and has binding energy at par with control (GRL0617). Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation showed Fonsecin to interact with Tyr268 of SARS-CoV2-PLpro more efficiently than control (GRL0617) and interacting with a greater number of amino acids in the binding cleft of PLpro.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiologic agent of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is rapidly acquiring new mutations. Analysis of these mutations is necessary for gaining knowledge regarding different aspects of therapeutic development. Previously, we have reported a Sanger method-based genome sequence of a viral isolate named SARS-CoV-2 NIB-1, circulating in Bangladesh. The genome has four novel non-synonymous mutations in V121D, V843F, A889V, and G1691C positions.<h4>Results</h4>Using different computational tools, we have found V121D substitution has the potential to destabilize the non-structural protein-1 (NSP-1). NSP-1 inactivates the type-1 interferon-induced antiviral system. Hence, this mutant could be a basis of attenuated vaccines against SARS-CoV-2. V843F, A889V, and G1691C are all located in nonstructural protein-3 (NSP-3). G1691C can decrease the flexibility of the protein. V843F and A889V might change the binding pattern and efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 papain-like protease (PLPro) inhibitor GRL0617. V843F substitution in PLPro was the most prevalent mutation in the clinical samples. This mutation showed a reduced affinity for interferon-stimulated gene-15 protein (ISG-15) and might have an impact on innate immunity and viral spread. However, V843F+A889V double mutant exhibited the same binding affinity as wild type PLPro. A possible reason behind this phenomenon can be that V843F is a conserved residue of PLPro which damaged the protease structure, but A889V, a less conserved residue, presumably neutralized that damage.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Mutants of NSP-1 could provide attenuated vaccines against coronavirus. Also, these mutations of PLPro might be targeted to develop better anti-SARS therapeutics. We hope our study will help to get better insides during the development of attenuated vaccine and PLPro inhibitors.
Project description:The latest global outbreak of 2019 respiratory coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is triggered by the inception of novel coronavirus SARS-CoV2. If recent events are of any indicators of the epidemics of past, it is undeniable to state a fact that the SARS-CoV2 viral infection is highly transmissible with respect to its previously related SARS-CoV's. Papain-like protease (PLpro) is an enzyme that is required by the virus itself for replicating into the host system; and it does so by processing its polyproteins into a functional replicase complex. PLpro is also known for downregulating the genes responsible for producing interferons, an essential family of molecules produced in response to viral infection, thus making this protein an indispensable drug target. In this study, PLpro inhibitors were identified through high throughput structure-based virtual screening approach from NPASS natural product library possessing ~ 35,000 compounds. Top five hits were scrutinised based on structural aromaticity and ability to interact with a key active site residue of PLpro, Tyr268. For second level of screening, the MM-GBSA End-Point Binding Free Energy Calculation of the docked complexes was performed, which identified Caesalpiniaphenol A as the best hit. Caesalpiniaphenol A not only possess a double ring aromatic moiety but also has lowest minimum binding energy, which is at par with the control GRL0617, the only known inhibitor of SARS-CoV2 PLpro. Details of the Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulation and ADMET analysis helped to conclusively determine Caesalpiniaphenol A as potentially an inhibitor of SARS-CoV2 PLpro.
Project description:Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, a global health threat, was caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV-2 papain-like cysteine protease (PLpro) was recognized as a promising drug target because of multiple functions in virus maturation and antiviral immune responses. Inhibitor GRL0617 occupied the interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) C-terminus-binding pocket and showed an effective antiviral inhibition. Here, we described a novel peptide-drug conjugate (PDC), in which GRL0617 was linked to a sulfonium-tethered peptide derived from PLpro-specific substrate LRGG. The EM-C and EC-M PDCs showed a promising <i>in vitro</i> IC50 of 7.40 ± 0.37 and 8.63 ± 0.55 μM, respectively. EC-M could covalently label PLpro active site C111 and display anti-ISGylation activities in cellular assays. The results represent the first attempt to design PDCs composed of stabilized peptide inhibitors and GRL0617 to inhibit PLpro. These novel PDCs provide promising opportunities for antiviral drug design.
Project description:The pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is changing the world like never before. This crisis is unlikely contained in the absence of effective therapeutics or vaccine. The papain-like protease (PLpro) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) plays essential roles in virus replication and immune evasion, presenting a charming drug target. Given the PLpro proteases of SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV share significant homology, inhibitor developed for SARS-CoV PLpro is a promising starting point of therapeutic development. In this study, we sought to provide structural frameworks for PLpro inhibitor design. We determined the unliganded structure of SARS-CoV-2 PLpro mutant C111S, which shares many structural features of SARS-CoV PLpro. This crystal form has unique packing, high solvent content and reasonable resolution 2.5 Å, hence provides a good possibility for fragment-based screening using crystallographic approach. We characterized the protease activity of PLpro in cleaving synthetic peptide harboring nsp2/nsp3 juncture. We demonstrate that a potent SARS-CoV PLpro inhibitor GRL0617 is highly effective in inhibiting protease activity of SARS-CoV-2 with the IC<sub>50</sub> of 2.2 ± 0.3 ?mol/L. We then determined the structure of SARS-CoV-2 PLpro complexed by GRL0617 to 2.6 Å, showing the inhibitor accommodates the S3-S4 pockets of the substrate binding cleft. The binding of GRL0617 induces closure of the BL2 loop and narrows the substrate binding cleft, whereas the binding of a tetrapeptide substrate enlarges the cleft. Hence, our results suggest a mechanism of GRL0617 inhibition, that GRL0617 not only occupies the substrate pockets, but also seals the entrance to the substrate binding cleft hence prevents the binding of the LXGG motif of the substrate.
Project description:The human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) and the NL63 coronaviruses are human respiratory pathogens for which no effective antiviral treatment exists. The papain-like cysteine proteases encoded by the coronavirus (SARS-CoV: PLpro; NL63: PLP1 and PLP2) represent potential targets for antiviral drug development. Three recent inhibitor-bound PLpro structures highlight the role of an extremely flexible six-residue loop in inhibitor binding. The high binding site plasticity is a major challenge in computational drug discovery/design efforts. From conventional molecular dynamics and accelerated molecular dynamics (aMD) simulations, we find that with conventional molecular dynamics simulation, PLpro translationally samples the open and closed conformation of BL2 loop on a picosecond-nanosecond timescale but does not reproduce the peptide bond inversion between loop residues Tyr269 and Gln270 that is observed on inhibitor GRL0617 binding. Only aMD simulation, starting from the closed loop conformation, reproduced the 180° ϕ-ψ dihedral rotation back to the open loop state. The Tyr-Gln peptide bond inversion appears to involve a progressive conformational change of the full loop, starting at one side, and progressing to the other. We used the SARS-CoV apo X-ray structure to develop a model of the NL63-PLP2 catalytic site. Superimposition of the PLP2 model on the PLpro X-ray structure identifies binding site residues in PLP2 that contribute to the distinct substrate cleavage site specificities between the two proteases. The topological and electrostatic differences between the two protease binding sites also help explain the selectivity of non-covalent PLpro inhibitors.
Project description:SARS-CoV-2 is the pathogen responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. The SARS-CoV-2 papain-like cysteine protease (PLpro) has been implicated in playing important roles in virus maturation, dysregulation of host inflammation, and antiviral immune responses. The multiple functions of PLpro render it a promising drug target. Therefore, we screened a library of approved drugs and also examined available inhibitors against PLpro. Inhibitor GRL0617 showed a promising in vitro IC<sub>50</sub> of 2.1??M and an effective antiviral inhibition in cell-based assays. The co-crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 PLpro<sup>C111S</sup> in complex with GRL0617 indicates that GRL0617 is a non-covalent inhibitor and it resides in the ubiquitin-specific proteases (USP) domain of PLpro. NMR data indicate that GRL0617 blocks the binding of ISG15 C-terminus to PLpro. Using truncated ISG15 mutants, we show that the C-terminus of ISG15 plays a dominant role in binding PLpro. Structural analysis reveals that the ISG15 C-terminus binding pocket in PLpro contributes a disproportionately large portion of binding energy, thus this pocket is a hot spot for antiviral drug discovery targeting PLpro.
Project description:Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) expresses a multifunctional papain-like proteinase (PLpro), which mediates the processing of the viral replicase polyprotein. Inhibition of PLpro has been shown to suppress the viral replication. This study aimed to explore new anti-PLpro candidates by applying virtual screening based on GRL0617, a known PLpro inhibitor of SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The three-dimensional (3D) structure of SARS-CoV-2 PLpro was built by homology modeling, using SARS-CoV PLpro as the template. The model was refined and studied through molecular dynamic simulation. AutoDock Vina was then used to perform virtual screening where 50 chemicals with at least 65% similarity to GRL0617 were docked with the optimized SARS-CoV-2 PLpro. In this screening, 5-(aminomethyl)-2-methyl-<i>N</i>-[(1<i>R</i>)-1-naphthalen-1-ylethyl]benzamide outperformed GRL0617 in terms of binding affinity (-9.7 kcal/mol). Furthermore, 2-(4-fluorobenzyl)-5-nitro-1<i>H</i>-isoindole-1,3(2<i>H</i>)-dione (previously introduced as an inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2), 3-nitro-<i>N</i>-[(1r)-1-phenylethyl]-5-(trifluoromethyl)benzamide (inhibitor against <i>Mycobacterium tuberculosis</i>), as well as the recently introduced SARS-CoV-2 PLpro inhibitor 5-acetamido-2-methyl-<i>N</i>-[(1<i>S</i>)-1-naphthalen-1-ylethyl]benzamide showed promising affinity for the viral proteinase. All of the identified compounds demonstrated an acceptable pharmacokinetic profile. In conclusion, our findings represent rediscovery of analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, or antiviral drugs as promising pharmaceutical candidates against the ongoing coronavirus.
Project description:Direct-acting antivirals for the treatment of COVID-19, which is caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2), are needed to complement vaccination efforts. The papain-like protease (PLpro) of SARS-CoV-2 is essential for viral proliferation. In addition, PLpro dysregulates the host immune response by cleaving ubiquitin and interferon-stimulated gene 15 protein (ISG15) from host proteins. As a result, PLpro is a promising target for inhibition by small-molecule therapeutics. Here we have designed a series of covalent inhibitors by introducing a peptidomimetic linker and reactive electrophilic "warheads" onto analogs of the noncovalent PLpro inhibitor GRL0617. We show that the most promising PLpro inhibitor is potent and selective, with activity in cell-based antiviral assays rivaling that of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitor remdesivir. An X-ray crystal structure of the most promising lead compound bound covalently to PLpro establishes the molecular basis for protease inhibition and selectivity against structurally similar human deubiquitinases. These findings present an opportunity for further development of potent and selective covalent PLpro inhibitors.
Project description:We report the discovery and optimization of a potent inhibitor against the papain-like protease (PLpro) from the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV). This unique protease is not only responsible for processing the viral polyprotein into its functional units but is also capable of cleaving ubiquitin and ISG15 conjugates and plays a significant role in helping SARS-CoV evade the human immune system. We screened a structurally diverse library of 50,080 compounds for inhibitors of PLpro and discovered a noncovalent lead inhibitor with an IC(50) value of 20 microM, which was improved to 600 nM via synthetic optimization. The resulting compound, GRL0617, inhibited SARS-CoV viral replication in Vero E6 cells with an EC(50) of 15 microM and had no associated cytotoxicity. The X-ray structure of PLpro in complex with GRL0617 indicates that the compound has a unique mode of inhibition whereby it binds within the S4-S3 subsites of the enzyme and induces a loop closure that shuts down catalysis at the active site. These findings provide proof-of-principle that PLpro is a viable target for development of antivirals directed against SARS-CoV, and that potent noncovalent cysteine protease inhibitors can be developed with specificity directed toward pathogenic deubiquitinating enzymes without inhibiting host DUBs.