The pandemic, due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has stimulated the search for antivirals to tackle COVID-19 infection. Molecules with known pharmacokinetics and already approved for human use have been demonstrated or predicted to be suitable to be used either directly or as a base for a scaffold-based drug design. Among these substances, quercetin is known to be a potent in vitro inhibitor of 3CLpro, the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. However, its low in vivo bioavailability calls for modifications to its molecular structure. In this work, this issue is addressed by using rutin, a natural flavonoid that is the most common glycosylated conjugate of quercetin, as a model. Combining experimental (spectroscopy and calorimetry) and simulation techniques (docking and molecular dynamics simulations), we demonstrate that the sugar adduct does not hamper rutin binding to 3CLpro, and the conjugated compound preserves a high potency (inhibition constant in the low micromolar range, Ki = 11 µM). Although showing a disruption of the pseudo-symmetry in the chemical structure, a larger steric volume and molecular weight, and a higher solubility compared to quercetin, rutin is able to associate in the active site of 3CLpro, interacting with the catalytic dyad (His41/Cys145). The overall results have implications in the drug-design of quercetin analogs, and possibly other antivirals, to target the catalytic site of the SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro.

Rutin is a low micromolar inhibitor of sars-cov-2 main protease 3clpro: Implications for drug design of quercetin analogs

Rizzuti B.
;
Grande F.;Conforti F.;
2021-01-01

Abstract

The pandemic, due to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has stimulated the search for antivirals to tackle COVID-19 infection. Molecules with known pharmacokinetics and already approved for human use have been demonstrated or predicted to be suitable to be used either directly or as a base for a scaffold-based drug design. Among these substances, quercetin is known to be a potent in vitro inhibitor of 3CLpro, the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. However, its low in vivo bioavailability calls for modifications to its molecular structure. In this work, this issue is addressed by using rutin, a natural flavonoid that is the most common glycosylated conjugate of quercetin, as a model. Combining experimental (spectroscopy and calorimetry) and simulation techniques (docking and molecular dynamics simulations), we demonstrate that the sugar adduct does not hamper rutin binding to 3CLpro, and the conjugated compound preserves a high potency (inhibition constant in the low micromolar range, Ki = 11 µM). Although showing a disruption of the pseudo-symmetry in the chemical structure, a larger steric volume and molecular weight, and a higher solubility compared to quercetin, rutin is able to associate in the active site of 3CLpro, interacting with the catalytic dyad (His41/Cys145). The overall results have implications in the drug-design of quercetin analogs, and possibly other antivirals, to target the catalytic site of the SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro.
2021
Antivirals
Drug selection
Enzyme inhibitors
Molecular modeling
Quercetin
Rutin
SARS-CoV-2
Spectroscopy
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/322336
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