The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2, has pushed the health systems of many countries to breaking point and precipitated social distancing measures that have crippled economic activities across the globe. A return to normality is unlikely until effective therapeutics and a vaccine are available. The immediacy of this problem suggests that drug strategies should focus on repurposing approved drugs or late-stage clinical candidates, as these have the shortest path to use in the clinic. Here, we review and discuss the role of host cell N-glycosylation pathways to virus replication and the drugs available to disrupt these pathways. In particular, we make a case for evaluation of the well-tolerated drugs miglitol, celgosivir and especially miglustat for the treatment of COVID-19.
Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; antiviral; drug repurposing; glycosylation; therapeutic.
© 2020 The Author(s). Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.