The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the likelihood that new coronavirus strains will emerge in the immediate future point out the urgent need to identify new pan-coronavirus inhibitors. Strigolactones (SLs) are a class of plant hormones with multifaceted activities whose roles in plant-related fields have been extensively explored. Recently, we proved that SLs also exert antiviral activity toward herpesviruses, such as human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Here we show that the synthetic SLs TH-EGO and EDOT-EGO impair β-coronavirus replication including SARS-CoV-2 and the common cold human coronavirus HCoV-OC43. Interestingly, in silico simulations suggest the binding of SLs in the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) active site, and this was further confirmed by an in vitro activity assay. Overall, our results highlight the potential efficacy of SLs as broad-spectrum antivirals against β-coronaviruses, which may provide the rationale for repurposing this class of hormones for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Strigolactones as broad-spectrum antivirals against β-coronaviruses through targeting the main protease Mpro

Francesca Esposito;Paolo Malune;Enzo Tramontano;
2023-01-01

Abstract

The current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the likelihood that new coronavirus strains will emerge in the immediate future point out the urgent need to identify new pan-coronavirus inhibitors. Strigolactones (SLs) are a class of plant hormones with multifaceted activities whose roles in plant-related fields have been extensively explored. Recently, we proved that SLs also exert antiviral activity toward herpesviruses, such as human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Here we show that the synthetic SLs TH-EGO and EDOT-EGO impair β-coronavirus replication including SARS-CoV-2 and the common cold human coronavirus HCoV-OC43. Interestingly, in silico simulations suggest the binding of SLs in the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro) active site, and this was further confirmed by an in vitro activity assay. Overall, our results highlight the potential efficacy of SLs as broad-spectrum antivirals against β-coronaviruses, which may provide the rationale for repurposing this class of hormones for the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
2023
Antiviral screening; Strigolactones; HCoV-OC43; SARS-CoV-2; Mpro
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11584/372005
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