Oct 1, 2020Paper

Ebselen, disulfiram, carmofur, PX-12, tideglusib, and shikonin are non-specific promiscuous SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Chunlong MaJun Wang

Abstract

There is an urgent need for vaccines and antiviral drugs to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Encouraging progress has been made in developing antivirals targeting SARS-CoV-2, the etiological agent of COVID-19. Among the drug targets being investigated, the viral main protease (M pro ) is one of the most extensively studied drug targets. M pro is a cysteine protease that hydrolyzes the viral polyprotein at more than 11 sites and it is highly conserved among coronaviruses. In addition, M pro has a unique substrate preference for glutamine in the P1 position. Taken together, it appears that M pro inhibitors can achieve both broad-spectrum antiviral activity and a high selectivity index. Structurally diverse compounds have been reported as M pro inhibitors, with several of which also showed antiviral activity in cell culture. In this study, we investigated the mechanism of action of six previously reported M pro inhibitors, ebselen, disulfiram, tideglusib, carmofur, shikonin, and PX-12 using a consortium of techniques including FRET-based enzymatic assay, thermal shift assay, native mass spectrometry, cellular antiviral assays, and molecular dynamics simulations. Collectively, the results showed that the inhibition of M pro by these s...Continue Reading

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