Special Issue "Broad-Spectrum Antivirals of Coronaviruses Replication"

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Albrecht von Brunn
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Max von Pettenkofer-Institute, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, 80336 Munich, Germany
Interests: coronaviruses; broad-spectrum antivirals; cyclophilin/calcineurin inhibitors; intraviral and virus-host interactome; coronavirus replication

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In light of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 and, consequently, the COVID-19 pandemic, the scientific world has been unified and relentless in its fight against the disease. This has been illustrated by the unprecedented speed at which vaccinations have been developed and approved. Prophylaxis alone, however, does not spell the end of a pandemic. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we continue our remarkable progress by developing safe, accessible, and cost-effective methods for treating SARS-CoV-2 infections. Sadly, the countless lives lost to the disease have underlined the glaring lack of tried-and-true treatment options easily available today. Biologics, such as specific commercial antibody cocktails, are largely efficacious, but their accessibility is severely restricted by their costs of production.

The main stages of the SARS-CoV-2 lifecycle comprise the S-protein docking to host receptors, viral entry, gene translation/replication, virion packaging, and shedding. These stages are mirrored and mechanistically conserved in other highly virulent coronaviruses such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. Each of these stages can be therapeutically targeted, and by building upon the already existing knowledge of coronaviruses, drugs can be developed and/or repurposed for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses alike, past, present, or future.

In this Special Issue, we invite researchers around the globe to submit their work on broad-spectrum coronavirus inhibitors. These may comprise directly acting antivirals (S-protein blockers, viral polymerase/protease inhibitors, etc.) or drugs targeting host proteins and pathways relevant to the viral lifecycle. Naturally, such drugs’ effects could extend beyond mildly and highly virulent coronaviruses into other virus families, lending them further value. All manner of work on these topics is welcomed, from proof-of-principle studies to clinical trial data, as well as expert reviews on the topic.

Dr. Albrecht von Brunn
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Viruses is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • SARS-CoV-2
  • coronaviruses
  • viral entry
  • S-protein
  • anti-CoV biologicals
  • broad-spectrum coronavirus inhibitors
  • antiviral drugs
  • antivirals
  • therapeutics

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Communication
Antiviral Effect of Budesonide against SARS-CoV-2
Viruses 2021, 13(7), 1411; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071411 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 3067
Abstract
Treatment options for COVID-19, a disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, are currently severely limited. Therefore, antiviral drugs that efficiently reduce SARS-CoV-2 replication or alleviate COVID-19 symptoms are urgently needed. Inhaled glucocorticoids are currently being [...] Read more.
Treatment options for COVID-19, a disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, are currently severely limited. Therefore, antiviral drugs that efficiently reduce SARS-CoV-2 replication or alleviate COVID-19 symptoms are urgently needed. Inhaled glucocorticoids are currently being discussed in the context of treatment for COVID-19, partly based on a previous study that reported reduced recovery times in cases of mild COVID-19 after inhalative administration of the glucocorticoid budesonide. Given various reports that describe the potential antiviral activity of glucocorticoids against respiratory viruses, we aimed to analyze a potential antiviral activity of budesonide against SARS-CoV-2 and circulating variants of concern (VOC) B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta). We demonstrate a dose-dependent inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 that was comparable between all viral variants tested while cell viability remains unaffected. Our results are encouraging as they could indicate a multimodal mode of action of budesonide against SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, which could contribute to an improved clinical performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Broad-Spectrum Antivirals of Coronaviruses Replication)
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Article
Antiviral Activity of Vitis vinifera Leaf Extract against SARS-CoV-2 and HSV-1
Viruses 2021, 13(7), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071263 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1677
Abstract
Vitis vinifera represents an important and renowned source of compounds with significant biological activity. Wines and winery bioproducts, such as grape pomace, skins, and seeds, are rich in bioactive compounds against a wide range of human pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. However, [...] Read more.
Vitis vinifera represents an important and renowned source of compounds with significant biological activity. Wines and winery bioproducts, such as grape pomace, skins, and seeds, are rich in bioactive compounds against a wide range of human pathogens, including bacteria, fungi, and viruses. However, little is known about the biological properties of vine leaves. The aim of this study was the evaluation of phenolic composition and antiviral activity of Vitis vinifera leaf extract against two human viruses: the Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and the pandemic and currently widespread severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). About 40 phenolic compounds were identified in the extract by HPLC-MS/MS analysis: most of them were quercetin derivatives, others included derivatives of luteolin, kaempferol, apigenin, isorhamnetin, myricetin, chrysoeriol, biochanin, isookanin, and scutellarein. Leaf extract was able to inhibit both HSV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 replication in the early stages of infection by directly blocking the proteins enriched on the viral surface, at a very low concentration of 10 μg/mL. These results are very promising and highlight how natural extracts could be used in the design of antiviral drugs and the development of future vaccines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Broad-Spectrum Antivirals of Coronaviruses Replication)
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Review

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Review
Cellular Uptake and Intracellular Phosphorylation of GS-441524: Implications for Its Effectiveness against COVID-19
Viruses 2021, 13(7), 1369; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13071369 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 780
Abstract
GS-441524 is an adenosine analog and the parent nucleoside of the prodrug remdesivir, which has received emergency approval for treatment of COVID-19. Recently, GS-441524 has been proposed to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19, perhaps even being superior to remdesivir for treatment [...] Read more.
GS-441524 is an adenosine analog and the parent nucleoside of the prodrug remdesivir, which has received emergency approval for treatment of COVID-19. Recently, GS-441524 has been proposed to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19, perhaps even being superior to remdesivir for treatment of this disease. Evaluation of the clinical effectiveness of GS-441524 requires understanding of its uptake and intracellular conversion to GS-441524 triphosphate, the active antiviral substance. We here discuss the potential impact of these pharmacokinetic steps of GS-441524 on the formation of its active antiviral substance and effectiveness for treatment of COVID-19. Available protein expression data suggest that several adenosine transporters are expressed at only low levels in the epithelial cells lining the alveoli in the lungs, i.e., the alveolar cells or pneumocytes from healthy lungs. This may limit uptake of GS-441524. Importantly, cellular uptake of GS-441524 may be reduced during hypoxia and inflammation due to decreased expression of adenosine transporters. Similarly, hypoxia and inflammation may lead to reduced expression of adenosine kinase, which is believed to convert GS-441524 to GS-441524 monophosphate, the perceived rate-limiting step in the intracellular formation of GS-441524 triphosphate. Moreover, increases in extracellular and intracellular levels of adenosine, which may occur during critical illnesses, has the potential to competitively decrease cellular uptake and phosphorylation of GS-441524. Taken together, tissue hypoxia and severe inflammation in COVID-19 may lead to reduced uptake and phosphorylation of GS-441524 with lowered therapeutic effectiveness as a potential outcome. Hypoxia may be particularly critical to the ability of GS-441524 to eliminate SARS-CoV-2 from tissues with low basal expression of adenosine transporters, such as alveolar cells. This knowledge may also be relevant to treatments with other antiviral adenosine analogs and anticancer adenosine analogs as well. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Broad-Spectrum Antivirals of Coronaviruses Replication)
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Review
NSP16 2′-O-MTase in Coronavirus Pathogenesis: Possible Prevention and Treatments Strategies
Viruses 2021, 13(4), 538; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13040538 - 24 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 696
Abstract
Several life-threatening viruses have recently appeared, including the coronavirus, infecting a variety of human and animal hosts and causing a range of diseases like human upper respiratory tract infections. They not only cause serious human and animal deaths, but also cause serious public [...] Read more.
Several life-threatening viruses have recently appeared, including the coronavirus, infecting a variety of human and animal hosts and causing a range of diseases like human upper respiratory tract infections. They not only cause serious human and animal deaths, but also cause serious public health problems worldwide. Currently, seven species are known to infect humans, namely SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, HCoV-OC43, and HCoV-HKU1. The coronavirus nonstructural protein 16 (NSP16) structure is similar to the 5′-end capping system of mRNA used by eukaryotic hosts and plays a vital role in evading host immunity response and protects the nascent viral mRNA from degradation. NSP16 is also well-conserved among related coronaviruses and requires its binding partner NSP10 to activate its enzymatic activity. With the continued threat of viral emergence highlighted by human coronaviruses and SARS-CoV-2, mutant strains continue to appear, affecting the highly conserved NSP16: this provides a possible therapeutic approach applicable to any novel coronavirus. To this end, current information on the 2′-O-MTase activity mechanism, the differences between NSP16 and NSP10 in human coronaviruses, and the current potential prevention and treatment strategies related to NSP16 are summarized in this review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Broad-Spectrum Antivirals of Coronaviruses Replication)
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