The SARS-CoV-2 Cytopathic Effect Is Blocked by Lysosome Alkalizing Small Molecules.

ACS Infectious Diseases
Kirill GorshkovWei Zheng


Understanding the SARS-CoV-2 virus' pathways of infection, virus-host-protein interactions, and mechanisms of virus-induced cytopathic effects will greatly aid in the discovery and design of new therapeutics to treat COVID-19. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, extensively explored as clinical agents for COVID-19, have multiple cellular effects including alkalizing lysosomes and blocking autophagy as well as exhibiting dose-limiting toxicities in patients. Therefore, we evaluated additional lysosomotropic compounds to identify an alternative lysosome-based drug repurposing opportunity. We found that six of these compounds blocked the cytopathic effect of SARS-CoV-2 in Vero E6 cells with half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) values ranging from 2.0 to 13 μM and selectivity indices (SIs; SI = CC50/EC50) ranging from 1.5- to >10-fold. The compounds (1) blocked lysosome functioning and autophagy, (2) prevented pseudotyped particle entry, (3) increased lysosomal pH, and (4) reduced (ROC-325) viral titers in the EpiAirway 3D tissue model. Consistent with these findings, the siRNA knockdown of ATP6V0D1 blocked the HCoV-NL63 cytopathic effect in LLC-MK2 cells. Moreover, an analysis of SARS-CoV-2 infected Vero E6 cell lysate reve...Continue Reading


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Methods Mentioned

fluorescence microscopy

Key Resources (RRID) Mentioned


Software Mentioned

Columbus Analyzer
Graphpad Prism

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