In silico identification of available drugs targeting cell surface BiP to disrupt SARS-CoV-2 binding and replication: Drug repurposing approach

Academic Article


  • Aims: Cell surface binding immunoglobin protein (csBiP) is predicted to be susceptible to SARS-CoV-2 binding. With a substrate-binding domain (SBD) that binds to polypeptides and a nucleotide-binding domain (NBD) that can initiate extrinsic caspase-dependent apoptosis, csBiP may be a promising therapeutic target for COVID-19. This study aims to identify FDA-approved drugs that can neutralize viral binding and prevent viral replication by targeting the functional domains of csBiP. Methods: In silico screening of 1999 FDA-approved drugs against the functional domains of BiP were performed using three molecular docking programs to avoid bias from individual docking programs. Top ligands were selected by averaging the ligand rankings from three programs. Interactions between top ligands and functional domains of BiP were analyzed. Key findings: The top 10 SBD-binding candidates are velpatasvir, irinotecan, netupitant, lapatinib, doramectin, conivaptan, fenoverine, duvelisib, irbesartan, and pazopanib. The top 10 NBD-binding candidates are nilotinib, eltrombopag, grapiprant, topotecan, acetohexamide, vemurafenib, paritaprevir, pixantrone, azosemide, and piperaquine-phosphate. Among them, Velpatasvir and paritaprevir are antiviral agents that target the protease of hepatitis C virus. Netupitant is an anti-inflammatory drug that inhibits neurokinin-1 receptor, which contributes to acute inflammation. Grapiprant is an anti-inflammatory drug that inhibits the prostaglandin E2 receptor protein subtype 4, which is expressed on immune cells and triggers inflammation. These predicted SBD-binding drugs could disrupt SARS-CoV-2 binding to csBiP, and NBD-binding drugs may falter viral attachment and replication by locking the SBD in closed conformation and triggering apoptosis in infected cells. Significance: csBiP appears to be a novel therapeutic target against COVID-19 by preventing viral attachment and replication. These identified drugs could be repurposed to treat COVID-19 patients.
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    Author List

  • Zhang Y; Greer RA; Song Y; Praveen H; Song Y
  • Volume

  • 160