Researchers in the us have shown that a set of molecules were effective to block activity of a key protein of the SARS-CoV-2, the virus at the origin of the COVID-19.
Directed by Scott Pegan, director of the Center for drug discovery, University of Georgia, in the United States, the team of scientists looked at the protein PLpro.
Known for its ability to replicate and suppress the immune function of the people it infects, and this protein is essential for several types of coronaviruses.
“The PLpro of SARS-CoV-2 behaved differently from his predecessor that caused the SARS epidemic in 2003. Our data suggest that it is less effective in its role of immune suppression”, explains in English Mr Pegan, which implies that this is one of the reasons why the COVID-19 is less deadly than the outbreak of 2003.
SARS has infected 8098 people and killing 774, according to the world health Organization (WHO), for a mortality rate of approximately 10%. While in date of Thursday, 7 531 872 individuals had contracted the COVID-19, of which 421 856 have died, for a percentage of lethality of less than 6%.
Indeed, 12 years ago, researchers have discovered promising compounds to counteract the SARS virus. However, as it is not reappeared, the development of these potential drugs has been suspended.
Yet it is from these compounds, which act as inhibitors to eliminate the PLpro and stop the replication of the virus, that Pegan and his staff have begun their research.
In their paper, which was published by The American Chemical Society in the journal ACS Infectious Diseases, indicates that these inhibitors based on naphthalene “have proved to be effective to stop the activity of the SARS-CoV-2 and its replication”.
Therefore, this set of molecules would offer a “path of rapid development potential” to create drugs targeted against this virus.
“Obviously, the coronavirus current will probably be present for some time. These compounds are a good starting point for the development of a treatment,” says the one who is also a professor in pharmaceutical sciences and biomedical, College of pharmacy, University of Georgia.
“They have all the properties that one would usually find in a drug, and they have a history of non-toxicity,” says Pegan.
– With the QMI Agency