An update review of emerging small-molecule therapeutic options for COVID-19.
Biomedicine & pharmacotherapy = Biomedecine & pharmacotherapie. 2021;:111313
The SARS-CoV-2 outbreak and pandemic that began near the end of 2019 has posed a challenge to global health. At present, many candidate small-molecule therapeutics have been developed that can inhibit both the infection and replication of SARS-CoV-2 and even potentially relieve cytokine storms and other related complications. Meanwhile, host-targeted drugs that inhibit cellular transmembrane serine protease (TMPRSS2) can prevent SARS-CoV-2 from entering cells, and its combination with chloroquine and dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH) inhibitors can limit the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and reduce the morbidity and mortality of patients with COVID-19. The present article provides an overview of these small-molecule therapeutics based on insights from medicinal chemistry research and focuses on RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) inhibitors, such as the nucleoside analogues remdesivir, favipiravir and ribavirin. This review also covers inhibitors of 3C-like protease (3CLpro), papain-like protease (PLpro) and other potentially innovative active ingredient molecules, describing their potential targets, activities, clinical status and side effects.
Coronavirus Infection-Associated Cell Death Signaling and Potential Therapeutic Targets.
Molecules (Basel, Switzerland). 2021;(24)
COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection that occurred in 2019. The virus-host-specific interactions, molecular targets on host cell deaths, and the involved signaling are crucial issues, which become potential targets for treatment. Spike protein, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), cathepsin L-cysteine peptidase, transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), nonstructural protein 1 (Nsp1), open reading frame 7a (ORF7a), viral main protease (3C-like protease (3CLpro) or Mpro), RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) (Nsp12), non-structural protein 13 (Nsp13) helicase, and papain-like proteinase (PLpro) are molecules associated with SARS-CoV infection and propagation. SARS-CoV-2 can induce host cell death via five kinds of regulated cell death, i.e., apoptosis, necroptosis, pyroptosis, autophagy, and PANoptosis. The mechanisms of these cell deaths are well established and can be disrupted by synthetic small molecules or natural products. There are a variety of compounds proven to play roles in the cell death inhibition, such as pan-caspase inhibitor (z-VAD-fmk) for apoptosis, necrostatin-1 for necroptosis, MCC950, a potent and specific inhibitor of the NLRP3 inflammasome in pyroptosis, and chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine, which can mitigate the corresponding cell death pathways. However, NF-κB signaling is another critical anti-apoptotic or survival route mediated by SARS-CoV-2. Such signaling promotes viral survival, proliferation, and inflammation by inducing the expression of apoptosis inhibitors such as Bcl-2 and XIAP, as well as cytokines, e.g., TNF. As a result, tiny natural compounds functioning as proteasome inhibitors such as celastrol and curcumin can be used to modify NF-κB signaling, providing a responsible method for treating SARS-CoV-2-infected patients. The natural constituents that aid in inhibiting viral infection, progression, and amplification of coronaviruses are also emphasized, which are in the groups of alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenoids, diarylheptanoids, and anthraquinones. Natural constituents derived from medicinal herbs have anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, as well as inhibitory effects, on the viral life cycle, including viral entry, replication, assembly, and release of COVID-19 virions. The phytochemicals contain a high potential for COVID-19 treatment. As a result, SARS-CoV-2-infected cell death processes and signaling might be of high efficacy for therapeutic targeting effects and yielding encouraging outcomes.