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      Repurposing drugs and identification of inhibitors of integral proteins (spike protein and main protease) of SARS-CoV-2


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          The outbreak of Coronavirus infection (COVID-19) has prompted the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare the outbreak, a Public Health Emergency of International concern. As part of the efforts to discover lead compounds for clinical use, 53 molecules were screened using molecular docking and dynamic simulations (MDS) techniques to identify potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (COVID-19 S gp) and main protease (COVID-19 M pro) or both. Lopinavir (LPV), nelfinavir (NEF), hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), remdesivir (RDV) and an irreversible inhibitor of SARS-CoV (N3) were used as standard drugs for COVID-19 M pro, while zafirlukast (ZFK) and cefoperazone (CSP)) as standard drugs for COVID-19 S gp. After 100 ns of MDS, with reference to standard drugs (N3, −52.463 Kcal/mol, NEF, −51.618 Kcal/mol, RDV, −48.780 Kcal/mol, LPV, −46.788 Kcal/mol, DRV, −33.655 Kcal/mol and HCQ, −21.065 Kcal/mol), five molecules, HCR, GRN, C3G, EGCG, and K7G were predicted to be promising inhibitors of COVID-19 M pro with binding energies of −53.877 kcal/mol, −50.653 Kcal/mol, −48.600 kcal/mol, −47.798 kcal/mol and −46.902 kcal/mol, respectively. These lead molecules were then docked at receptor-binding domain (RBD) of COVID-19 S gp to examine their inhibitory effects. C3G, GRN and K7G exhibited higher binding energies of −42.310 kcal/mol, −32.210 kcal/mol, −26.922 kcal/mol than the recorded values for the reference drugs (CSP, −35.509 kcal/mol, ZFK, −24.242 kcal/mol), respectively. The results of the binding energy and structural analyses from this study revealed that C3G, GRN and K7G could serve as potential dual inhibitors of COVID-19 S gp and COVID-19 M pro, while HCR and EGCG would be inhibitors of COVID-19 Mpro.

          Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma

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          Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: a descriptive study

          Summary Background In December, 2019, a pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) emerged in Wuhan, China. We aimed to further clarify the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 2019-nCoV pneumonia. Methods In this retrospective, single-centre study, we included all confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV in Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital from Jan 1 to Jan 20, 2020. Cases were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR and were analysed for epidemiological, demographic, clinical, and radiological features and laboratory data. Outcomes were followed up until Jan 25, 2020. Findings Of the 99 patients with 2019-nCoV pneumonia, 49 (49%) had a history of exposure to the Huanan seafood market. The average age of the patients was 55·5 years (SD 13·1), including 67 men and 32 women. 2019-nCoV was detected in all patients by real-time RT-PCR. 50 (51%) patients had chronic diseases. Patients had clinical manifestations of fever (82 [83%] patients), cough (81 [82%] patients), shortness of breath (31 [31%] patients), muscle ache (11 [11%] patients), confusion (nine [9%] patients), headache (eight [8%] patients), sore throat (five [5%] patients), rhinorrhoea (four [4%] patients), chest pain (two [2%] patients), diarrhoea (two [2%] patients), and nausea and vomiting (one [1%] patient). According to imaging examination, 74 (75%) patients showed bilateral pneumonia, 14 (14%) patients showed multiple mottling and ground-glass opacity, and one (1%) patient had pneumothorax. 17 (17%) patients developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and, among them, 11 (11%) patients worsened in a short period of time and died of multiple organ failure. Interpretation The 2019-nCoV infection was of clustering onset, is more likely to affect older males with comorbidities, and can result in severe and even fatal respiratory diseases such as acute respiratory distress syndrome. In general, characteristics of patients who died were in line with the MuLBSTA score, an early warning model for predicting mortality in viral pneumonia. Further investigation is needed to explore the applicability of the MuLBSTA score in predicting the risk of mortality in 2019-nCoV infection. Funding National Key R&D Program of China.
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            Early Transmission Dynamics in Wuhan, China, of Novel Coronavirus–Infected Pneumonia

            Abstract Background The initial cases of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)–infected pneumonia (NCIP) occurred in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, in December 2019 and January 2020. We analyzed data on the first 425 confirmed cases in Wuhan to determine the epidemiologic characteristics of NCIP. Methods We collected information on demographic characteristics, exposure history, and illness timelines of laboratory-confirmed cases of NCIP that had been reported by January 22, 2020. We described characteristics of the cases and estimated the key epidemiologic time-delay distributions. In the early period of exponential growth, we estimated the epidemic doubling time and the basic reproductive number. Results Among the first 425 patients with confirmed NCIP, the median age was 59 years and 56% were male. The majority of cases (55%) with onset before January 1, 2020, were linked to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, as compared with 8.6% of the subsequent cases. The mean incubation period was 5.2 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 4.1 to 7.0), with the 95th percentile of the distribution at 12.5 days. In its early stages, the epidemic doubled in size every 7.4 days. With a mean serial interval of 7.5 days (95% CI, 5.3 to 19), the basic reproductive number was estimated to be 2.2 (95% CI, 1.4 to 3.9). Conclusions On the basis of this information, there is evidence that human-to-human transmission has occurred among close contacts since the middle of December 2019. Considerable efforts to reduce transmission will be required to control outbreaks if similar dynamics apply elsewhere. Measures to prevent or reduce transmission should be implemented in populations at risk. (Funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China and others.)
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              Is Open Access

              Cryo-EM structure of the 2019-nCoV spike in the prefusion conformation

              Structure of the nCoV trimeric spike The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of a novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) to be a public health emergency of international concern. The virus binds to host cells through its trimeric spike glycoprotein, making this protein a key target for potential therapies and diagnostics. Wrapp et al. determined a 3.5-angstrom-resolution structure of the 2019-nCoV trimeric spike protein by cryo–electron microscopy. Using biophysical assays, the authors show that this protein binds at least 10 times more tightly than the corresponding spike protein of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)–CoV to their common host cell receptor. They also tested three antibodies known to bind to the SARS-CoV spike protein but did not detect binding to the 2019-nCoV spike protein. These studies provide valuable information to guide the development of medical counter-measures for 2019-nCoV. Science, this issue p. 1260

                Author and article information

                J Biomol Struct Dyn
                J Biomol Struct Dyn
                Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics
                Taylor & Francis
                16 February 2021
                : 1-16
                [a ]Faculty of Applied Sciences, Department of Biotechnology and Food Science, Durban University of Technology (DUT) , Durban, South Africa
                [b ]KwaZulu-Natal Research, Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP)/Genomics Unit, School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, Nelson R Mandela School of Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal , Durban, South Africa
                [c ]Department of Family Medicine, Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital , Umlazi, South Africa
                Author notes

                Supplemental data for this article can be accessed online at https://doi.org/10.1080/07391102.2021.1886993.

                CONTACT F. O. Shode franciss@ 123456dut.ac.za Faculty of Applied Sciences, Department of Biotechnology and Food Science, Durban University of Technology (DUT) , Durban, South Africa
                © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted re-use and analyses in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic or until permissions are revoked in writing. Upon expiration of these permissions, PMC is granted a perpetual license to make this article available via PMC and Europe PMC, consistent with existing copyright protections.

                Page count
                Figures: 10, Tables: 5, Pages: 16, Words: 8071
                Research Article
                Research Article

                coronavirus infection,molecular dynamic simulations,spike (s) glycoprotein,main protease enzyme,inhibitors


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