Despite several major achievements in the development of vaccines and antivirals, the fight against SARS-CoV-2 and the health problems accompanying COVID-19 are still ongoing. SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro), an essential viral cysteine protease, is a crucial target for the development of antiviral agents. A virtual screening analysis of in-house cysteine protease inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro allowed us to identify two hits (i.e., 1 and 2) bearing a methyl vinyl ketone warhead. Starting from these compounds, we herein report the development of Michael acceptors targeting SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, which differ from each other for the warhead and for the amino acids at the P2 site. The most promising vinyl methyl ketone-containing analogs showed sub-micromolar activity against the viral protease. SPR38, SPR39, and SPR41 were fully characterized, and additional inhibitory properties towards hCatL, which plays a key role in the virus entry into host cells, were observed. SPR39 and SPR41 exhibited single-digit micromolar EC50 values in a SARS-CoV-2 infection model in cell culture.

Structure-based lead optimization of peptide-based vinyl methyl ketones as SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors

Santo Previti
Primo
;
Roberta Ettari
Secondo
;
Elsa Calcaterra;Maria Zappala
Ultimo
2023-01-01

Abstract

Despite several major achievements in the development of vaccines and antivirals, the fight against SARS-CoV-2 and the health problems accompanying COVID-19 are still ongoing. SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro), an essential viral cysteine protease, is a crucial target for the development of antiviral agents. A virtual screening analysis of in-house cysteine protease inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro allowed us to identify two hits (i.e., 1 and 2) bearing a methyl vinyl ketone warhead. Starting from these compounds, we herein report the development of Michael acceptors targeting SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, which differ from each other for the warhead and for the amino acids at the P2 site. The most promising vinyl methyl ketone-containing analogs showed sub-micromolar activity against the viral protease. SPR38, SPR39, and SPR41 were fully characterized, and additional inhibitory properties towards hCatL, which plays a key role in the virus entry into host cells, were observed. SPR39 and SPR41 exhibited single-digit micromolar EC50 values in a SARS-CoV-2 infection model in cell culture.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11570/3247095
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