Virtual screening of approved drugs as potential SARS-CoV-2 main protease inhibitors

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Abstract

© 2020 Elsevier Ltd The global emergency caused by COVID-19 makes the discovery of drugs capable of inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 a priority, to reduce the mortality and morbidity of this disease. Repurposing approved drugs can provide therapeutic alternatives that promise rapid and ample coverage because they have a documented safety record, as well as infrastructure for large-scale production. The main protease of SARS-CoV-2 (Mpro) is an excellent therapeutic target because it is critical for viral replication; however, Mpro has a highly flexible active site that must be considered when performing computer-assisted drug discovery. In this work, potential inhibitors of the main protease (Mpro) of SARS-Cov-2 were identified through a docking-assisted virtual screening procedure. A total of 4384 drugs, all approved for human use, were screened against three conformers of Mpro. The ligands were further studied through molecular dynamics simulations and binding free energy analysis. A total of nine currently approved molecules are proposed as potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2. These molecules can be further tested to speed the development of therapeutics against COVID-19.
Original languageAmerican English
JournalComputational Biology and Chemistry
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020

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