Computational insight of dexamethasone against potential targets of SARS-CoV-2

Adewale Oluwaseun Fadaka, Nicole Remaliah Samantha Sibuyi, Abram Madimabe Madiehe, Mervin Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. The health sector has been on the race to find a potent therapy for coronavirus disease (COVID)-19, a diseases caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV)-2. Repurposed anti-viral drugs have played a huge role in combating the virus, and most recently, dexamethasone (Dex) have shown its therapeutic activity in severe cases of COVID-19 patients. The study sought to provide insights on the anti-COVID-19 mechanism of Dex at both atomic and molecular level against SARS-CoV-2 targets. Computational methods were employed to predict the binding affinity of Dex to SARS-CoV-2 using the Schrodinger suite (v2020-2). The target molecules and ligand (Dex) were retrieved from PDB and PubChem, respectively. The selected targets were SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro), and host secreted molecules glucocorticoid receptor, and Interleukin-6 (IL-6). Critical analyses such as Protein and ligand preparation, molecular docking, molecular dynamic (MD) simulations, and absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion (ADME), and toxicity analyses were performed using the targets and the ligand as inputs. Dex showed stronger affinity to its theoretical (glucocorticoid) receptor with a superior docking score of −14.7 and a good binding energy value of −147.48 kcal/mol; while short hydrogen bond distances were observed in both Mpro and IL-6 when compared to glucocorticoid receptor. Based on these findings, Dex-target complexes were used to perform MD simulations to analyze Dex stability at 50 ns. This study demonstrates that Dex could bind to both the viral and host receptors as a potential drug candidate for COVID-19. To ascertain the biological fitness of this study, other SARS-CoV-2 targets should be explored. Also, the in vitro studies of dexamethasone against several SARS-CoV-2 targets warrant further investigation. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

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