Protease Inhibitors as Promising Weapons against COVID-19: Focus on Repurposing of Drugs used to Treat HIV and HCV Infections


As a part of the efforts to quickly develop pharmaceutical treatments for COVID-19 through repurposing existing drugs, some researchers around the world have combined the recently released crystal structure of SARS-CoV-2 M-pro in complex with a covalently bonded inhibitor with virtual screening procedures employing molecular docking approaches. In this context, protease inhibitors (PIs) clinically available and currently used to treat infectious diseases, particularly viral ones, are relevant sources of promising drug candidates to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 M-pro, a key viral enzyme involved in crucial events during its life cycle. In the present perspective, we summarized the published studies showing the promising use of HIV and HCV PIs as potential repurposing drugs against the SARS-CoV-2 M-pro.



subject category

Chemistry, Medicinal


da Costa, LJ; Pereira, MM; Ramos, LD; Silva, LN; de Mello, TP; Branquinha, MH; dos Santos, ALS

our authors


The present work was supported by grants from Fundacao Carlos Chagas Filho de Amparo a Pesquisa do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (FAPERJ), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq) and Coordenacao de Aperfeicoamento de Pessoal de Nivel Superior (CAPES; Financial code - 001).

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