Warning: This is a preliminary report that has not been peer-reviewed. It should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information.

Identification of inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 3CL-Pro enzymatic activity using a small molecule in-vitro repurposing screen (Preliminary Report)

Compound repurposing is an important strategy for the identification of effective treatment options against SARS-CoV-2 infection and COVID-19 disease. In this regard, SARS-CoV-2 main protease (3CL-Pro), also termed M-Pro, is an attractive drug target as it plays a central role in viral replication by processing the viral polyproteins pp1a and ...
pp1ab at multiple distinct cleavage sites. We here report the results of a repurposing program involving 8.7 K compounds containing marketed drugs, clinical and preclinical candidates, and small molecules regarded as safe in humans. We confirmed previously reported inhibitors of 3CL-Pro, and have identified 62 additional compounds with IC50 values below 1 M and profiled their selectivity towards Chymotrypsin and 3CL-Pro from the MERS virus. A subset of 8 inhibitors showed anti-cytopathic effect in a Vero-E6 cell line and the compounds thioguanosine and MG-132 were analysed for their predicted binding characteristics to SARS-CoV-2 3CL-Pro. The X-ray crystal structure of the complex of myricetin and SARS-Cov-2 3CL-Pro was solved at a resolution of 1.77 [A], showing that myricetin is covalently bound to the catalytic Cys145 and therefore inhibiting its enzymatic activity.Graphical abstractO_FIG O_LINKSMALLFIG WIDTH=200 HEIGHT=154 SRC=FIGDIR/small/422677v1_ufig1.gif ALT=Figure 1>View larger version (41K):org.highwire.dtl.DTLVardef@17ca2aeorg.highwire.dtl.DTLVardef@19c5159org.highwire.dtl.DTLVardef@1a0adf6org.highwire.dtl.DTLVardef@1fd05cd_HPS_FORMAT_FIGEXP M_FIG O_FLOATNOAbstract Figure.C_FLOATNO Workflow for identification and profiling of inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 3CL-Pro using a large scale repurposing and bioactive compound collection (rhs). Primary assay principle based on quenched FRET peptide substrate of SARS-CoV-2 3CL-Pro (lhs). Inhibiting compounds reduce fluorescence signal relative to DMSO controls. Hit profiling using X-ray.C_FIG
Date: Dec. 16, 2020
Status: Preliminary Report
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