A study of 3clpros as promising targets against sars-cov and sars-cov-2

Seri Jo, Suwon Kim, Jahyun Yoo, Mi Sun Kim, Dong Hae Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), results in serious chaos all over the world. In addition to the available vaccines, the development of treatments to cure COVID-19 should be done quickly. One of the fastest strategies is to use a drug-repurposing approach. To provide COVID-19 patients with useful information about medicines currently being used in clinical trials, twenty-four com-pounds, including antiviral agents, were selected and assayed. These compounds were applied to verify the inhibitory activity for the protein function of 3CLpros (main proteases) of SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2. Among them, viral reverse-transcriptase inhibitors abacavir and tenofovir revealed a good inhibitory effect on both 3CLpros. Intriguingly, sildenafil, a cGMP-specific phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor also showed significant inhibitory function against them. The in silico docking study suggests that the active-site residues located in the S1 and S2 sites play key roles in the interactions with the inhibitors. The result indicates that 3CLpros are promising targets to cope with SAR-CoV-2 and its variants. The information can be helpful to design treatments to cure patients with COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish
Article number756
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Basic Science Research Programs, 2018R1D1A1B07050781 to DHS and 2018R1D1A1B07050942 to MK, funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea grant granted by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Republic of Korea (MEST).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Antiviral
  • Drug repurposing
  • FRET
  • Inhibitory compounds
  • SARS-CoV-2 3CL protease


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