Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Carnosine to Combat Novel Coronavirus (nCoV, COVID-19): Molecular Docking and Modeling to Co-Crystallized Host Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) and Viral Spike Protein

Version 1 : Received: 22 October 2020 / Approved: 23 October 2020 / Online: 23 October 2020 (10:44:07 CEST)

How to cite: Saadah, L.M.; Deiab, G.I.A.; Al-Balas, Q.; Basheti, I.A. Carnosine to Combat Novel Coronavirus (nCoV, COVID-19): Molecular Docking and Modeling to Co-Crystallized Host Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) and Viral Spike Protein. Preprints 2020, 2020100486 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0486.v1). Saadah, L.M.; Deiab, G.I.A.; Al-Balas, Q.; Basheti, I.A. Carnosine to Combat Novel Coronavirus (nCoV, COVID-19): Molecular Docking and Modeling to Co-Crystallized Host Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 (ACE2) and Viral Spike Protein. Preprints 2020, 2020100486 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202010.0486.v1).

Abstract

Aims: Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) plays an important role in the entry of coronaviruses into host cells. This paper described how carnosine, a naturally occurring supplement, can be an effective drug candidate for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the basis of molecular docking and modeling to host ACE2 co-crystallized with COVID-19 spike protein. Methods: First, the starting point was ACE2 inhibitors and their structure-activity relationship (SAR). Next, chemical similarity (or diversity) and PubMed searches made it possible to repurpose and assess approved or experimental drugs for COVID-19. In parallel, at all stages, authors performed bioactivity scoring to assess potential repurposed inhibitors at ACE2. Finally, investigators performed molecular docking and modeling of the identified drug candidate to host ACE2 co-crystallized with COVID-19 spike protein. Results: Carnosine emerged as the best known drug candidate to match ACE2 inhibitor structure. Preliminary docking was more optimal to ACE2 than the known typical angiotensin-converting enzyme 1 (ACE1) inhibitor (enalapril) and quite comparable to known or presumed ACE2 inhibitors. Viral spike protein elements binding to ACE2 were retained in the best carnosine pose in SwissDock at 1.75 Angstroms. Out of the three main areas of attachment expected to the co-crystallized protein structure, carnosine bind with higher affinity to two compared to the known ACE2 active site. LibDock score was 92.40 for site 3, 90.88 for site 1, and inside the active site 85.49. Conclusion: Carnosine has promising inhibitory interactions with host ACE2 co-crystallized with COVID-19 spike protein and hence could offer potential mitigating effect against current COVID-19 pandemic.

Subject Areas

COVID-19; carnosine; angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2); practitioner; molecular docking; modeling

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