A Speedy Route to Multiple Highly Potent SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease Inhibitors.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Kai S YangJin Liu


The COVID-19 pathogen, SARS-CoV-2, requires its main protease (SC2M Pro ) to digest two of its translated polypeptides to form a number of mature proteins that are essential for viral replication and pathogenesis. Inhibition of this vital proteolytic process is effective in preventing the virus from replication in infected cells and therefore provides a potential COVID-19 treatment option. Guided by previous medicinal chemistry studies about SARS-CoV-1 main protease (SC1M Pro ), we have designed and synthesized a series of SC2M Pro inhibitors that contain β-( S -2-oxopyrrolidin-3-yl)-alaninal (Opal) for the formation of a reversible covalent bond with the SC2M Pro active site cysteine C145. All inhibitors display high potency with IC 50 values at or below 100 nM. The most potent compound MPI3 has as an IC 50 value as 8.5 nM. Crystallographic analyses of SC2M Pro bound to 7 inhibitors indicated both formation of a covalent bond with C145 and structural rearrangement from the apoenzyme to accommodate the inhibitors. Virus inhibition assays revealed that several inhibitors have high potency in inhibiting the SARS-CoV-2-induced cytopathogenic effect in both Vero E6 and A549 cells. Two inhibitors MP5 and MPI8 completely prevented th...Continue Reading


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Methods Mentioned

peptide assay
X ray

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