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Identification and In Silico Binding Study of a Highly Potent DENV NS2B-NS3 Covalent Inhibitor

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journal contribution
posted on 08.03.2022, 18:46 authored by Xincheng Lin, Jiawei Cheng, Yuming Wu, Yaoliang Zhang, Hailun Jiang, Jian Wang, Xuejun Wang, Maosheng Cheng
Dengue virus (DENV), an arthropod-borne flavivirus, has developed rapidly in the past few decades and becoming the most widespread arbovirus in the world. The vital role of NS2B-NS3 in virus replication and maturation of viral proteins makes it the most promising target for anti-DENV drug discovery. In the current work, a potent NS2B-NS3 covalent inhibitor 23 (IC50 = 6.0 nM, kinac/Ki = 1581 M–1 s–1) was discovered through the chemical modification of a published covalent inhibitor 1 (IC50 = 500 nM, kinac/Ki = 156.1 M–1 s–1), followed by in vitro assay. Further comprehensive structure–activity relationship analysis through covalent docking and molecular dynamics simulation provides informative understanding of the binding modes of covalent inhibitors targeting NS2B-NS3.