The rapid spread and public health impact of the novel SARS-CoV-2 variants that cause COVID-19 continue to produce major global impacts and social distress. Several vaccines were developed in record time to prevent and limit the spread of the infection, thus playing a pivotal role in controlling the pandemic. Although the repurposing of available drugs attempts to provide therapies of immediate access against COVID-19, there is still a need for developing specific treatments for this disease. Remdesivir, molnupiravir and Paxlovid remain the only evidence-supported antiviral drugs to treat COVID-19 patients, and only in severe cases. To contribute on the search of potential Covid-19 therapeutic agents, we targeted the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) and the exoribonuclease (ExoN) following two strategies. First, we modeled and analyzed nucleoside analogs sofosbuvir, remdesivir, favipiravir, ribavirin, and molnupiravir at three key binding sites on the RdRp-ExoN complex. Second, we curated and virtually screened a database containing 517 nucleotide analogs in the same binding sites. Finally, we characterized key interactions and pharmacophoric features presumably involved in viral replication halting at multiple sites. Our results highlight structural modifications that might lead to more potent SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors against an expansive range of variants and provide a collection of nucleotide analogs useful for screening campaigns.

Fuente: Computational and Structural Biotechnology Journal
Available online 8 September 2022
In Press, Journal Pre-proof