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COVID-19

Research Article

The Integration of Pharmacophore-Based 3D QSAR Modeling and Virtual Screening in Identification of Natural Product Inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2

Samira Norouzi, Maryam Farahani, Samad Nejad Ebrahimi* ORCID logo

Abstract

Background: The current outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (SARS-CoV-2) led to public health emergencies all over the world and made it a global concern. Also, the lack of an effective treatment to combat this virus is another concern that has appeared. Today, increasing knowledge of biological structures like increasing computer power brings about a chance to use computational methods efficiently in different phases of the drug discovery and development for helping solve this new global problem.
Methods: In this study, 3D pharmacophores were generated based on thirty-one structures with functional affinity inhibition (antiviral drugs used for SARS and MERS) with IC50<250 µM from the literature data. A 3D-QSAR model has been developed and validated to be utilized in virtual screening.
Results: The best pharmacophore models have been utilized as 3D queries for virtual screening to gain promising inhibitors from a data set of thousands of natural compounds retrieved from PubChem. The hit compounds were subsequently used for molecular docking studies to investigate their affinity to the 3D structure of the SARS-CoV-2 receptors. The ADMET properties calculate for the hits with high binding affinity.
Conclusion: The study outcomes can help understand the molecular characteristics and mechanisms of the binding of hit compounds to SARS-CoV-2 receptors and promising identification inhibitors that are likely to be evolved into drugs.
Keywords: Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, COVID-19, SARS-CoV, Pharmacophore, 3D-QSAR
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Submitted: 06 Aug 2020
Revision: 16 Nov 2020
Accepted: 01 Dec 2020
ePublished: 03 Dec 2020
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