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Virtual Screening Reveals Potential Anti-Parasitic Drugs Inhibiting the Receptor Binding Domain of SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein

Muthusamy et al., Journal of Virology & Antiviral Research
Jul 2021  
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In Silico study identifying 32 anti-parisitic compounds effectively inhibiting the RBD of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, with ivermectin being one of the top compounds.
Ivermectin, better known for antiparasitic activity, is a broad spectrum antiviral with activity against many viruses including H7N7 Götz, Dengue Tay, Wagstaff, HIV-1 Wagstaff, Simian virus 40 Wagstaff (B), Zika Barrows, Yang, West Nile Yang, Yellow Fever Mastrangelo, Varghese, Japanese encephalitis Mastrangelo, Chikungunya Varghese, Semliki Forest virus Varghese, Human papillomavirus Li, Epstein-Barr Li, BK Polyomavirus Bennett, and Sindbis virus Varghese.
Ivermectin is an inhibitor of importin-α/β-dependent nuclear import of viral proteins Götz, Kosyna, Wagstaff, Wagstaff (B), a SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitor Mody, binds to glycan sites on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein preventing interaction with blood and epithelial cells and inhibiting hemagglutination Boschi, exhibits dose-dependent inhibition of lung injury Abd-Elmawla, Ma, may inhibit SARS-CoV-2 induced formation of fibrin clots resistant to degradation Vottero, shows protection against inflammation, cytokine storm, and mortality in an LPS mouse model of severe infection/inflammation that shares key pathological features of severe COVID-19 DiNicolantonio, Zhang, may be beneficial in severe COVID-19 by binding IGF1 to inhibit the promotion of inflammation, fibrosis, and cell proliferation that leads to lung damage Zhao, may minimize SARS-CoV-2 induced cardiac damage Liu, Liu (B), has immunomodulatory Munson and anti-inflammatory DiNicolantonio (B), Yan properties, and has an extensive and very positive safety profile Descotes.
Muthusamy et al., 8 Jul 2021, peer-reviewed, 5 authors.
In Silico studies are an important part of preclinical research, however results may be very different in vivo.
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Virtual Screening Reveals Potential Anti-Parasitic Drugs Inhibiting the Receptor Binding Domain of SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein
Sathya Muthusamy, Hariprabu Gopal, Thiliban Manivarma, Narayan Satya, Prince. R Pradhan, Prabhu, Prince R Prabhu
The 2019's COVID-19 outbreak which spread to over 200 countries across the globe had its origin from the 2002's SARS-CoV-1 epidemic. The corona viruses are single stranded positive sense RNA viruses with 4 structural proteins such as spike(S), membrane(M), envelope(E) and nucleocapsid(N) proteins and 16 non-structural proteins (NSPs). The spike(S) protein is a homo-trimer protruding from the viral surface comprising 2 subunits namely, the S1 and S2 where the S1 subunit consists of the receptor binding domain (RBD) and the S2 subunit consists of the fusion peptide. The spike glycoprotein is considered as the most desired pharmacological target for drug designing, thus blocking the viral entry into the host. Computer-Aided Drug Designing significantly reduces the cost and time in drug discovery compared to the in-vitro methods. Hence in our study, we have performed a virtual screening of the complete set of anti-parasitic drugs using the popular molecular docking tool, Autodock vina with an aim to repurpose the potential hits for the SARS-CoV-2 infection. The repurposed drugs are advantageous for their easy and immediate access owing to their already proven safety records in toxicity and hence are better than novel drugs. Our results revealed 32 anti-parasitic compounds crossing our threshold binding affinity with selamectin, ivermectin, artefenomel, moxidectin, posaconazole, imidocarb, piperaquine, cepharantine, betulinic acid and atovaquone at the top of the list and occupying the three different electrostatic regions in the RBD. Further optimization strategies and in-vitro trials could make our potential anti-parasitic hits, a potential cure for the SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Conflict of Interest The authors declare no conflict of interest. Author Affiliations Top Department of Biotechnology, Anna University, Chennai--600025
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