Searching for potential inhibitors of SARS-COV-2 main protease using supervised learning and perturbation calculations

Chem Phys. 2023 Jan 1;564:111709. doi: 10.1016/j.chemphys.2022.111709. Epub 2022 Sep 26.ABSTRACTInhibiting the biological activity of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro can prevent viral replication. In this context, a hybrid approach using knowledge- and physics-based methods was proposed to characterize potential inhibitors for SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. Initially, supervised machine learning (ML) models were trained to predict a ligand-binding affinity of ca. 2 million compounds with the correlation on a test set of R = 0.748 ± 0.044 . Atomistic simulations were then used to refine the outcome of the ML model. Using LIE/FEP calculations, nine compounds from the top 100 ML inhibitors were suggested to bind well to the protease with the domination of van der Waals interactions. Furthermore, the binding affinity of these compounds is also higher than that of nirmatrelvir, which was recently approved by the US FDA to treat COVID-19. In addition, the ligands altered the catalytic triad Cys145 - His41 - Asp187, possibly disturbing the biological activity of SARS-CoV-2.PMID:36188488 | PMC:PMC9511900 | DOI:10.1016/j.chemphys.2022.111709
Source: Chemical Physics - Category: Chemistry Authors: Source Type: news