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Molecules ; 26(16)2021 Aug 12.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34443484


The COVID-19 outbreak has rapidly spread on a global scale, affecting the economy and public health systems throughout the world. In recent years, peptide-based therapeutics have been widely studied and developed to treat infectious diseases, including viral infections. Herein, the antiviral effects of the lysine linked dimer des-Cys11, Lys12,Lys13-(pBthTX-I)2K ((pBthTX-I)2K)) and derivatives against SARS-CoV-2 are reported. The lead peptide (pBthTX-I)2K and derivatives showed attractive inhibitory activities against SARS-CoV-2 (EC50 = 28-65 µM) and mostly low cytotoxic effect (CC50 > 100 µM). To shed light on the mechanism of action underlying the peptides' antiviral activity, the Main Protease (Mpro) and Papain-Like protease (PLpro) inhibitory activities of the peptides were assessed. The synthetic peptides showed PLpro inhibition potencies (IC50s = 1.0-3.5 µM) and binding affinities (Kd = 0.9-7 µM) at the low micromolar range but poor inhibitory activity against Mpro (IC50 > 10 µM). The modeled binding mode of a representative peptide of the series indicated that the compound blocked the entry of the PLpro substrate toward the protease catalytic cleft. Our findings indicated that non-toxic dimeric peptides derived from the Bothropstoxin-I have attractive cellular and enzymatic inhibitory activities, thereby suggesting that they are promising prototypes for the discovery and development of new drugs against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Venenos de Crotalídeos/química , Dimerização , Papaína/antagonistas & inibidores , Peptídeos/química , Peptídeos/farmacologia , SARS-CoV-2/enzimologia , Antivirais/química , Antivirais/metabolismo , Antivirais/farmacologia , Simulação de Acoplamento Molecular , Papaína/química , Papaína/metabolismo , Peptídeos/metabolismo , Inibidores de Proteases/química , Inibidores de Proteases/metabolismo , Inibidores de Proteases/farmacologia , Conformação Proteica , SARS-CoV-2/efeitos dos fármacos
Viruses ; 12(6)2020 05 30.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32486283


Single-stranded positive RNA ((+) ssRNA) viruses include several important human pathogens. Some members are responsible for large outbreaks, such as Zika virus, West Nile virus, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, while others are endemic, causing an enormous global health burden. Since vaccines or specific treatments are not available for most viral infections, the discovery of direct-acting antivirals (DAA) is an urgent need. Still, the low-throughput nature of and biosafety concerns related to traditional antiviral assays hinders the discovery of new inhibitors. With the advances of reverse genetics, reporter replicon systems have become an alternative tool for the screening of DAAs. Herein, we review decades of the use of (+) ssRNA viruses replicon systems for the discovery of antiviral agents. We summarize different strategies used to develop those systems, as well as highlight some of the most promising inhibitors identified by the method. Despite the genetic alterations introduced, reporter replicons have been shown to be reliable systems for screening and identification of viral replication inhibitors and, therefore, an important tool for the discovery of new DAAs.

Antivirais/farmacologia , Descoberta de Drogas/métodos , Genes Reporter/fisiologia , Vírus de RNA/efeitos dos fármacos , Replicon/fisiologia , Animais , Antivirais/química , Linhagem Celular , Chlorocebus aethiops , Cricetinae , Humanos , Vírus de RNA/genética , Transfecção , Células Vero
Methods Mol Biol ; 2151: 185-195, 2020.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32452005


An important aspect of host-pathogen interactions is the interference of secreted proteins with the fibrinolytic system. Herein, we describe a modified ELISA method used to evaluate the interaction of a recombinant Schistosoma mansoni protein with plasminogen (PLG). Using this protocol, we demonstrated that a secreted protein, recombinant venom allergen-like protein 18 (rSmVAL18) acts as a plasminogen receptor increasing its activation into plasmin in the presence of the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA). PLG binding was determined by immobilizing human PLG in the plate and incubating with the recombinant protein; competitive binding with a lysine analog demonstrated the interaction of the protein lysine residues with PLG Kringle domains. To assess the activation of S. mansoni recombinant protein-bound PLG, the amidolytic activity of generated plasmin was measured using the D-Val-Leu-Lys 4-nitroanilide dihydrochloride substrate.

Ensaio de Imunoadsorção Enzimática/métodos , Proteínas de Helminto/metabolismo , Plasminogênio/metabolismo , Schistosoma mansoni/metabolismo , Ácido Aminocaproico/metabolismo , Animais , Ligação Competitiva , Fibrinolisina/metabolismo , Humanos , Ligação Proteica
Mol Biochem Parasitol ; 221: 23-31, 2018 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29477861


Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease caused by trematodes of the genus Schistosoma which have a complex life cycle characterized by an asexual multiplication phase in the snail intermediate host and a sexual reproduction phase in the mammalian definitive host. The initial steps of the human host infection involve the secretion of proteins contained in the acetabular glands of cercariae that promote parasite adhesion and proteolysis of the skin layers. Herein, we performed a functional analysis of SmVAL18, identified as one of the three SCP/TAPS proteins constituent of cercarial secretions. We evaluated the SmVAL18 binding to immobilized macromolecules of the extracellular matrix (ECM) and to plasma components. Recombinant protein, expressed in E. coli, was found to maintain an ordered secondary structure typical of the SCP/TAPS domain after purification. Expression of native SmVAL18 protein was verified to be restricted to cercariae and 3-h schistosomula stages; furthermore, the protein was observed in the corresponding secretions, confirming that SmVAL18 is secreted during the first 3 h of in vitro culture. rSmVAL18 was able to interact specifically with plasminogen (PLG) and enhance its conversion into plasmin in the presence of the urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA). Protein homology modelling suggested that the PLG-rSmVAL18 interaction was mediated by lysine residues of the protein. This was supported by in vitro data using the lysine analogue, 6-aminocaproic acid (ACA), which abolished the interaction. Finally, our results showed that both cercariae and 3-h schistosomula, as well as their corresponding secretions, exhibited the capacity to bind PLG and enhance its conversion into plasmin in vitro in the same way as observed for the recombinant protein. In conclusion, our findings show that SmVAL18 is a novel PLG-binding protein secreted during the early stages of the mammalian-host infection.

Alérgenos/metabolismo , Proteínas de Helminto/metabolismo , Plasminogênio/metabolismo , Schistosoma mansoni/metabolismo , Esquistossomose mansoni/parasitologia , Alérgenos/isolamento & purificação , Animais , Proteínas de Transporte , Clonagem Molecular , Escherichia coli/genética , Escherichia coli/metabolismo , Fibrinolíticos , Expressão Gênica , Proteínas de Helminto/isolamento & purificação , Camundongos Endogâmicos BALB C , Ligação Proteica , Estrutura Secundária de Proteína , Proteínas Recombinantes/química , Proteínas Recombinantes/genética , Proteínas Recombinantes/isolamento & purificação , Proteínas Recombinantes/metabolismo , Schistosoma mansoni/crescimento & desenvolvimento
Molecules ; 22(11)2017 Nov 04.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29113051


Antimicrobial peptides can be used systemically, however, their susceptibility to proteases is a major obstacle in peptide-based therapeutic development. In the present study, the serum stability of p-BthTX-I (KKYRYHLKPFCKK) and (p-BthTX-I)2, a p-BthTX-I disulfide-linked dimer, were analyzed by mass spectrometry and analytical high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Antimicrobial activities were assessed by determining their minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) using cation-adjusted Mueller-Hinton broth. Furthermore, biofilm eradication and time-kill kinetics were performed. Our results showed that p-BthTX-I and (p-BthTX-I)2 were completely degraded after 25 min. Mass spectrometry showed that the primary degradation product was a peptide that had lost four lysine residues on its C-terminus region (des-Lys12/Lys13-(p-BthTX-I)2), which was stable after 24 h of incubation. The antibacterial activities of the peptides p-BthTX-I, (p-BthTX-I)2, and des-Lys12/Lys13-(p-BthTX-I)2 were evaluated against a variety of bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains. Des-Lys12/Lys13-(p-BthTX-I)2 and (p-BthTX-I)2 degraded Staphylococcus epidermidis biofilms. Additionally, both the peptides exhibited bactericidal activities against planktonic S. epidermidis in time-kill assays. The emergence of bacterial resistance to a variety of antibiotics used in clinics is the ultimate challenge for microbial infection control. Therefore, our results demonstrated that both peptides analyzed and the product of proteolysis obtained from (p-BthTX-I)2 are promising prototypes as novel drugs to treat multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.

Antibacterianos , Peptídeos Catiônicos Antimicrobianos , Biofilmes/efeitos dos fármacos , Farmacorresistência Bacteriana Múltipla/efeitos dos fármacos , Staphylococcus epidermidis/fisiologia , Antibacterianos/síntese química , Antibacterianos/química , Antibacterianos/farmacocinética , Antibacterianos/farmacologia , Peptídeos Catiônicos Antimicrobianos/síntese química , Peptídeos Catiônicos Antimicrobianos/química , Peptídeos Catiônicos Antimicrobianos/farmacocinética , Peptídeos Catiônicos Antimicrobianos/farmacologia , Humanos , Masculino