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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/J.EJMECH.2021.113201

RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) inhibitors: The current landscape and repurposing for the COVID-19 pandemic.

05 Mar 2021-European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (Elsevier Masson)-Vol. 213, pp 113201-113201
Abstract: The widespread nature of several viruses is greatly credited to their rapidly altering RNA genomes that enable the infection to persist despite challenges presented by host cells. Within the RNA genome of infections is RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), which is an essential enzyme that helps in RNA synthesis by catalysing the RNA template-dependent development of phosphodiester bonds. Therefore, RdRp is an important therapeutic target in RNA virus-caused diseases, including SARS-CoV-2. In this review, we describe the promising RdRp inhibitors that have been launched or are currently in clinical studies for the treatment of RNA virus infections. Structurally, nucleoside inhibitors (NIs) bind to the RdRp protein at the enzyme active site, and nonnucleoside inhibitors (NNIs) bind to the RdRp protein at allosteric sites. By reviewing these inhibitors, more precise guidelines for the development of more promising anti-RNA virus drugs should be set, and due to the current health emergency, they will eventually be used for COVID-19 treatment.

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Topics: RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (65%), RNA (61%), RNA virus (59%) ... show more
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Open access
01 Jun 2005-

3,153 Citations


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01 Jan 1993-

707 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41594-021-00651-0
Abstract: Molnupiravir is an orally available antiviral drug candidate currently in phase III trials for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. Molnupiravir increases the frequency of viral RNA mutations and impairs SARS-CoV-2 replication in animal models and in humans. Here, we establish the molecular mechanisms underlying molnupiravir-induced RNA mutagenesis by the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). Biochemical assays show that the RdRp uses the active form of molnupiravir, β-D-N4-hydroxycytidine (NHC) triphosphate, as a substrate instead of cytidine triphosphate or uridine triphosphate. When the RdRp uses the resulting RNA as a template, NHC directs incorporation of either G or A, leading to mutated RNA products. Structural analysis of RdRp-RNA complexes that contain mutagenesis products shows that NHC can form stable base pairs with either G or A in the RdRp active center, explaining how the polymerase escapes proofreading and synthesizes mutated RNA. This two-step mutagenesis mechanism probably applies to various viral polymerases and can explain the broad-spectrum antiviral activity of molnupiravir.

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Topics: RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (64%), Polymerase (60%), RNA (59%) ... show more

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Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30079-5
Xiaobo Yang1, Yuan Yu1, Jiqian Xu1, Huaqing Shu1  +14 moreInstitutions (4)
Abstract: Summary Background An ongoing outbreak of pneumonia associated with the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) started in December, 2019, in Wuhan, China. Information about critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection is scarce. We aimed to describe the clinical course and outcomes of critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia. Methods In this single-centered, retrospective, observational study, we enrolled 52 critically ill adult patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia who were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) of Wuhan Jin Yin-tan hospital (Wuhan, China) between late December, 2019, and Jan 26, 2020. Demographic data, symptoms, laboratory values, comorbidities, treatments, and clinical outcomes were all collected. Data were compared between survivors and non-survivors. The primary outcome was 28-day mortality, as of Feb 9, 2020. Secondary outcomes included incidence of SARS-CoV-2-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and the proportion of patients requiring mechanical ventilation. Findings Of 710 patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia, 52 critically ill adult patients were included. The mean age of the 52 patients was 59·7 (SD 13·3) years, 35 (67%) were men, 21 (40%) had chronic illness, 51 (98%) had fever. 32 (61·5%) patients had died at 28 days, and the median duration from admission to the intensive care unit (ICU) to death was 7 (IQR 3–11) days for non-survivors. Compared with survivors, non-survivors were older (64·6 years [11·2] vs 51·9 years [12·9]), more likely to develop ARDS (26 [81%] patients vs 9 [45%] patients), and more likely to receive mechanical ventilation (30 [94%] patients vs 7 [35%] patients), either invasively or non-invasively. Most patients had organ function damage, including 35 (67%) with ARDS, 15 (29%) with acute kidney injury, 12 (23%) with cardiac injury, 15 (29%) with liver dysfunction, and one (2%) with pneumothorax. 37 (71%) patients required mechanical ventilation. Hospital-acquired infection occurred in seven (13·5%) patients. Interpretation The mortality of critically ill patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia is considerable. The survival time of the non-survivors is likely to be within 1–2 weeks after ICU admission. Older patients (>65 years) with comorbidities and ARDS are at increased risk of death. The severity of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia poses great strain on critical care resources in hospitals, especially if they are not adequately staffed or resourced. Funding None.

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Topics: Pneumonia (56%), ARDS (55%), Intensive care unit (54%) ... show more

5,846 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1038/S41422-020-0282-0
Manli Wang1, Ruiyuan Cao, Leike Zhang1, Xing-Lou Yang1  +6 moreInstitutions (1)
04 Feb 2020-Cell Research
Abstract: Dear Editor, In December 2019, a novel pneumonia caused by a previously unknown pathogen emerged in Wuhan, a city of 11 million people in central China. The initial cases were linked to exposures in a seafood market in Wuhan. As of January 27, 2020, the Chinese authorities reported 2835 confirmed cases in mainland China, including 81 deaths. Additionally, 19 confirmed cases were identified in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, and 39 imported cases were identified in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, United States, Vietnam, Singapore, Nepal, France, Australia and Canada. The pathogen was soon identified as a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), which is closely related to sever acute respiratory syndrome CoV (SARS-CoV). Currently, there is no specific treatment against the new virus. Therefore, identifying effective antiviral agents to combat the disease is urgently needed. An efficient approach to drug discovery is to test whether the existing antiviral drugs are effective in treating related viral infections. The 2019-nCoV belongs to Betacoronavirus which also contains SARS-CoV and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV). Several drugs, such as ribavirin, interferon, lopinavir-ritonavir, corticosteroids, have been used in patients with SARS or MERS, although the efficacy of some drugs remains controversial. In this study, we evaluated the antiviral efficiency of five FAD-approved drugs including ribavirin, penciclovir, nitazoxanide, nafamostat, chloroquine and two well-known broad-spectrum antiviral drugs remdesivir (GS5734) and favipiravir (T-705) against a clinical isolate of 2019nCoV in vitro. Standard assays were carried out to measure the effects of these compounds on the cytotoxicity, virus yield and infection rates of 2019-nCoVs. Firstly, the cytotoxicity of the candidate compounds in Vero E6 cells (ATCC-1586) was determined by the CCK8 assay. Then, Vero E6 cells were infected with nCoV2019BetaCoV/Wuhan/WIV04/2019 at a multiplicity of infection (MOI) of 0.05 in the presence of varying concentrations of the test drugs. DMSO was used in the controls. Efficacies were evaluated by quantification of viral copy numbers in the cell supernatant via quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR) and confirmed with visualization of virus nucleoprotein (NP) expression through immunofluorescence microscopy at 48 h post infection (p.i.) (cytopathic effect was not obvious at this time point of infection). Among the seven tested drugs, high concentrations of three nucleoside analogs including ribavirin (half-maximal effective concentration (EC50)= 109.50 μM, halfcytotoxic concentration (CC50) > 400 μM, selectivity index (SI) > 3.65), penciclovir (EC50= 95.96 μM, CC50 > 400 μM, SI > 4.17) and favipiravir (EC50= 61.88 μM, CC50 > 400 μM, SI > 6.46) were required to reduce the viral infection (Fig. 1a and Supplementary information, Fig. S1). However, favipiravir has been shown to be 100% effective in protecting mice against Ebola virus challenge, although its EC50 value in Vero E6 cells was as high as 67 μM, suggesting further in vivo studies are recommended to evaluate this antiviral nucleoside. Nafamostat, a potent inhibitor of MERS-CoV, which prevents membrane fusion, was inhibitive against the 2019-nCoV infection (EC50= 22.50 μM, CC50 > 100 μM, SI > 4.44). Nitazoxanide, a commercial antiprotozoal agent with an antiviral potential against a broad range of viruses including human and animal coronaviruses, inhibited the 2019-nCoV at a low-micromolar concentration (EC50= 2.12 μM; CC50 > 35.53 μM; SI > 16.76). Further in vivo evaluation of this drug against 2019-nCoV infection is recommended. Notably, two compounds remdesivir (EC50= 0.77 μM; CC50 > 100 μM; SI > 129.87) and chloroquine (EC50= 1.13 μM; CC50 > 100 μM, SI > 88.50) potently blocked virus infection at low-micromolar concentration and showed high SI (Fig. 1a, b). Remdesivir has been recently recognized as a promising antiviral drug against a wide array of RNA viruses (including SARS/MERS-CoV) infection in cultured cells, mice and nonhuman primate (NHP) models. It is currently under clinical development for the treatment of Ebola virus infection. Remdesivir is an adenosine analogue, which incorporates into nascent viral RNA chains and results in pre-mature termination. Our time-ofaddition assay showed remdesivir functioned at a stage post virus entry (Fig. 1c, d), which is in agreement with its putative antiviral mechanism as a nucleotide analogue. Warren et al. showed that in NHP model, intravenous administration of 10mg/kg dose of remdesivir resulted in concomitant persistent levels of its active form in the blood (10 μM) and conferred 100% protection against Ebola virus infection. Our data showed that EC90 value of remdesivir against 2019-nCoV in Vero E6 cells was 1.76 μM, suggesting its working concentration is likely to be achieved in NHP. Our preliminary data (Supplementary information, Fig. S2) showed that remdesivir also inhibited virus infection efficiently in a human cell line (human liver cancer Huh-7 cells), which is sensitive to 2019-nCoV. Chloroquine, a widely-used anti-malarial and autoimmune disease drug, has recently been reported as a potential broadspectrum antiviral drug. Chloroquine is known to block virus infection by increasing endosomal pH required for virus/ cell fusion, as well as interfering with the glycosylation of cellular receptors of SARS-CoV. Our time-of-addition assay demonstrated that chloroquine functioned at both entry, and at postentry stages of the 2019-nCoV infection in Vero E6 cells (Fig. 1c, d). Besides its antiviral activity, chloroquine has an immune-modulating activity, which may synergistically enhance its antiviral effect in vivo. Chloroquine is widely distributed in the whole body, including lung, after oral administration. The EC90 value of chloroquine against the 2019-nCoV in Vero

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Topics: Coronavirus (57%)

4,498 Citations


Open accessJournal ArticleDOI: 10.1056/NEJMOA2007764
John H. Beigel1, Kay M. Tomashek1, Lori E. Dodd1, Aneesh K. Mehta1  +36 moreInstitutions (1)
Abstract: Background Although several therapeutic agents have been evaluated for the treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), none have yet been shown to be efficacious. Methods We conducte...

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3,423 Citations


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