Discovery of Clioquinol and analogues as novel inhibitors of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 infection, ACE2 and ACE2 - Spike protein interaction in vitro

Omonike A. Olaleye, Manvir Kaur, Collins Onyenaka, Tolulope Adebusuyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the etiological agent for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has resulted in an ongoing pandemic. Presently, there are no clinically approved drugs for COVID-19. Hence, there is an urgent need to accelerate the development of effective antivirals. Herein, we discovered Clioquinol (5-chloro-7-iodo-8-quinolinol (CLQ)), a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved drug, and two of its analogues (7-bromo-5-chloro-8-hydroxyquinoline (CLBQ14); and 5, 7-Dichloro-8-hydroxyquinoline (CLCQ)) as potent inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 infection-induced cytopathic effect in vitro. In addition, all three compounds showed potent anti-exopeptidase activity against recombinant human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (rhACE2) and inhibited the binding of rhACE2 with SARS-CoV-2 Spike (RBD) protein. CLQ displayed the highest potency in the low micromolar range, with its antiviral activity showing a strong correlation with inhibition of rhACE2 and rhACE2-RBD interaction. Altogether, our findings provide a new mode of action and molecular target for CLQ and validates this pharmacophore as a promising lead series for the clinical development of potential therapeutics for COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere06426
JournalHeliyon
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2
  • Clioquinol
  • Coronavirus disease 2019
  • Receptor binding domain
  • Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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