Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Pharmacoinformatics and Molecular Dynamic Simulation Studies Reveal Potential Inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease 3CLpro

Version 1 : Received: 19 February 2020 / Approved: 23 February 2020 / Online: 23 February 2020 (02:17:46 CET)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.


The SARS-CoV-2 was confirmed to cause the regional outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China. The 3C-like protease (3CLpro), an essential enzyme for viral replication, is a valid target to compacts SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. In this research, an integrated library consisting of 1000 compounds from Asinex Focused Covalent (AFCL) library and 16 FDA-approved protease inhibitors were screened against SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro. Top compounds with significant docking scores and making stable interactions with catalytic dyad residues were obtained. The screening results in identification of compound 621 from AFCL library as well as Paritaprevir and Simeprevir from FDA-approved protease inhibitors as potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro. The mechanism and dynamic stability of binding between the identified compounds and SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro were characterized using 50 nanoseconds (ns) molecular dynamic (MD) simulation approach. The identified compounds are potential inhibitors worthy of further development as SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro inhibitors/drugs. Importantly, the identified FDA-approved therapeutics could be ready for clinical trials to treat infected patients and help to curb the COVID-19.


SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; 3CL protease; molecular docking; molecular dynamics and simulations


Medicine and Pharmacology, Pharmacology and Toxicology

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