Remdesivir analog as SARS-CoV-2 polymerase inhibitor: virtual screening of a database generated by scaffold replacement

RSC Adv. 2022 Aug 11;12(35):22448-22457. doi: 10.1039/d2ra00486k. eCollection 2022 Aug 10.


By the end of 2019, a novel strain of the corona viral family named SARS-CoV-2 emerged in Wuhan, China and started to spread worldwide causing one of the most dangerous lethal pandemics. Researchers utilized various reported inhibitors and drug databases for virtual screening analysis against this novel strain. Later on, they succeeded to fish and repurpose remdesivir, an antiviral nucleotide analogue that inhibits RNA polymerase of the Ebola virus, as a promising candidate against SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we used the interactions of the co-crystallized metabolite of remdesivir with SARS-CoV-2 RdRp isozyme (PDB 7BV2) to design an analog with potential extra activity. This design was based on a scaffold replacement of a pyrrolotriazine moiety. This design was guided by a generated structure-based pharmacophore. The database generated from scaffold replacement was subjected to molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulations within the active site of SARS-CoV-2 RdRp (PDB 7BV2) to suggest HA-130383 and HA-130384 as potential lead compounds.