Discovery of juglone and its derivatives as potent SARS-CoV-2 main proteinase inhibitors. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Discovery of juglone and its derivatives as potent SARS-CoV-2 main proteinase inhibitors.
Eur J Med Chem. 2021 Aug 18 ;225:113789. Epub 2021 Aug 18. PMID: 34438124
SARS-CoV-2 as a positive-sense single-stranded RNA coronavirus caused the global outbreak of COVID-19. The main protease (M) of the virus as the major enzyme processing viral polyproteins contributed to the replication and transcription of SARS-CoV-2 in host cells, and has been characterized as an attractive target in drug discovery. Herein, a set of 1,4-naphthoquinones with juglone skeleton were prepared and evaluated for the inhibitory efficacy against SARS-CoV-2 M. More than half of the tested naphthoquinones could effectively inhibit the target enzyme with an inhibition rate of more than 90% at the concentration of 10 μM. In the structure-activity relationships (SARs) analysis, the characteristics of substituents and their position on juglone core scaffold were recognized as key ingredients for enzyme inhibitory activity. The most active compound, 2-acetyl-8-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone (15), which exhibited much higher potency in enzyme inhibitions than shikonin as the positive control, displayed an ICvalue of 72.07 ± 4.84 nM towards M-mediated hydrolysis of the fluorescently labeled peptide. It fit well into the active site cavity of the enzyme by forming hydrogen bonds with adjacent amino acid residues in molecular docking studies. The results from in vitro antiviral activity evaluation demonstrated that the most potent Minhibitor could significantly suppress the replication of SARS-CoV-2 in Vero E6 cells within the low micromolar concentrations, with its ECvalue of about 4.55 μM. It was non-toxic towards the host Vero E6 cells under tested concentrations. The present research work implied that juglone skeleton could be a primary template for the development of potent Minhibitors.