PAK1-blockers: Potential Therapeutics against COVID-19

Med Drug Discov. 2020 Jun;6:100039. doi: 10.1016/j.medidd.2020.100039. Epub 2020 Apr 19.


PAK1 (RAC/CDC42-activated kinase 1) is the major "pathogenic" kinase whose abnormal activation causes a wide variety of diseases/disorders including cancers, inflammation, malaria and pandemic viral infection including influenza, HIV and COVID-19. Since Louis Pasteur who developed a vaccine against rabies in 1885, in general a series of "specific" vaccines have been used for treatment of viral infection, mainly because the majority of pre-existing antibiotics are either anti-bacterial or anti-fungal, thereby being ineffective against viruses in general. However, it takes 12-18 months till the effective vaccine becomes available. Until then ventilator (O2 supplier) would be the most common tool for saving the life of COVID-19 patients. Thus, as alternative potentially more direct "broad-spectrum" signalling mechanism-based COVID-19 therapeutics, several natural and synthetic PAK1-blockers such as propolis, melatonin, ciclesonide, hydroxy chloroquine (HQ), ivermection, and ketorolac, which are readily available in the market, are introduced here.

Keywords: COVID-19; PAK1; cancer; pathogenic kinase; viral infection.

Publication types

  • Review