Preprint Communication Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Virtual Screening of Potential Inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease

Version 1 : Received: 8 April 2020 / Approved: 9 April 2020 / Online: 9 April 2020 (09:34:45 CEST)

How to cite: Alméciga-Díaz, C.J.; Pimentel-Vera, L.N.; Caro, A.; Mosquera, A.; Castellanos Moreno, C.A.; Manosalva Rojas, J.P.; Díaz-Tribaldos, D.C. Virtual Screening of Potential Inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease. Preprints 2020, 2020040146 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0146.v1). Alméciga-Díaz, C.J.; Pimentel-Vera, L.N.; Caro, A.; Mosquera, A.; Castellanos Moreno, C.A.; Manosalva Rojas, J.P.; Díaz-Tribaldos, D.C. Virtual Screening of Potential Inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease. Preprints 2020, 2020040146 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0146.v1).

Abstract

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (Covid-19) was first described in December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China; and produced by a novel coronavirus designed as the acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Covid-19 has become a pandemic reaching over 1.3 million confirmed cases and 73,000 deaths. Several efforts have been done to identify pharmacological agents that can be used to treat patients and protect healthcare professionals. The sequencing of the virus genome not only has offered the possibility to develop a vaccine, but also to identified and characterize the virus proteins. Among these proteins, main protease (Mpro) has been identified as a potential therapeutic target, since it is essential for the processing other viral proteins. Crystal structures of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro and inhibitors has been described during the last months. To describe additional compounds that can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 Mpro, in this study we performed a molecular docking-based virtual screening against a library of experimental and approved drugs. Top 10 hits included Pictilisib, Nimorazole, Ergoloid mesylates, Lumacaftor, Cefuroxime, Cepharanhine, and Nilotinib. These compounds were predicted to have higher binding affinity for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro than previously reported inhibitors for this protein, suggesting a higher potential to inhibit virus replication. Since the identified drugs have both pre-clinical and clinical information, we consider that these results may contribute to the identification of treatment alternative for Covid-19. Nevertheless, in vitro and in vivo confirmation should be performed before these compounds could be translated to the clinic.

Subject Areas

Coronavirus Disease 2019; SARS-CoV-2; main protease; molecular docking-based virtual screening

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