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J Med Chem. 2010 Jul 8;53(13):4968-79. doi: 10.1021/jm1004489.

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus papain-like novel protease inhibitors: design, synthesis, protein-ligand X-ray structure and biological evaluation.

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Department of Chemistry, Purdue University, 560 Oval Drive, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.


The design, synthesis, X-ray crystal structure, molecular modeling, and biological evaluation of a series of new generation SARS-CoV PLpro inhibitors are described. A new lead compound 3 (6577871) was identified via high-throughput screening of a diverse chemical library. Subsequently, we carried out lead optimization and structure-activity studies to provide a series of improved inhibitors that show potent PLpro inhibition and antiviral activity against SARS-CoV infected Vero E6 cells. Interestingly, the (S)-Me inhibitor 15 h (enzyme IC(50) = 0.56 microM; antiviral EC(50) = 9.1 microM) and the corresponding (R)-Me 15 g (IC(50) = 0.32 microM; antiviral EC(50) = 9.1 microM) are the most potent compounds in this series, with nearly equivalent enzymatic inhibition and antiviral activity. A protein-ligand X-ray structure of 15 g-bound SARS-CoV PLpro and a corresponding model of 15 h docked to PLpro provide intriguing molecular insight into the ligand-binding site interactions.

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