Identification and Inhibition of the Druggable Allosteric Site of SARS-CoV-2 NSP10/NSP16 Methyltransferase through Computational Approaches

Shah Faisal, Syed Lal Badshah, Bibi Kubra, Mohamed Sharaf, Abdul-Hamid M. Emwas, Mariusz Jaremko, Mohnad Abdalla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Since its emergence in early 2019, the respiratory infectious virus, SARS-CoV-2, has ravaged the health of millions of people globally and has affected almost every sphere of life. Many efforts are being made to combat the COVID-19 pandemic’s emerging and recurrent waves caused by its evolving and more infectious variants. As a result, novel and unexpected targets for SARS-CoV-2 have been considered for drug discovery. 2′-O-Methyltransferase (nsp10/nsp16) is a significant and appealing target in the SARS-CoV-2 life cycle because it protects viral RNA from the host degradative enzymes via a cap formation process. In this work, we propose prospective allosteric inhibitors that target the allosteric site, SARS-CoV-2 MTase. Four drug libraries containing ~119,483 compounds were screened against the allosteric site of SARS-CoV-2 MTase identified in our research. The identified best compounds exhibited robust molecular interactions and alloscore-score rankings with the allosteric site of SARS-CoV-2 MTase. Moreover, to further assess the dynamic stability of these compounds (CHEMBL2229121, ZINC000009464451, SPECS AK-91811684151, NCI-ID = 715319), a 100 ns molecular dynamics simulation, along with its holo-form, was performed to provide insights on the dynamic nature of these allosteric inhibitors at the allosteric site of the SARS-CoV-2 MTase. Additionally, investigations of MM-GBSA binding free energies revealed a good perspective for these allosteric inhibitor–enzyme complexes, indicating their robust antagonistic action on SARS-CoV-2 (nsp10/nsp16) methyltransferase. We conclude that these allosteric repressive agents should be further evaluated through investigational assessments in order to combat the proliferation of SARS-CoV-2.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5241
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 17 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-09-14
Acknowledgements: The APC was funded by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry


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