Keywords: Molecules, Covid-19, Coronavirus, Natural Therapies, Humans, Sars-Cov-2, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, Antiviral Agents Pharmacology, Common Cold
Affiliations: *** IBB - CNR ***
Caterina Vicidomini and Giovanni N. Roviello *Institute of Biostructures and Bioimaging, Italian National Council for Research (IBB-CNR), Area di Ricerca Site and Headquarters, Via Pietro Castellino 111, 80131 Naples, Italy; email@example.com* Correspondence: firstname.lastname@example.org
References: Not available.
Potential Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Molecular Strategies
Finding effective antiviral molecular strategies was a main concern in the scientific com-munity when the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) emerged at the end of 2019 as an easily transmissible and potentially deadly β-coronavirus able to cause the coro-navirus disease 19 (COVID-19), which famously led to one of the most worrying pandemics in re-cent times. Other members of this zoonotic pathogenic family were already known before 2019, but apart from the SARS-CoV, which was responsible of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) pan-demic in 2002/2003, and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), whose main impact on humans is geographically restricted to Middle Eastern countries, the other human β-coronaviruses known at that time were those typically associated with common cold symptoms which had not led to the development of any specific prophylactic or therapeutic measures. Alt-hough SARS-CoV-2 and its mutations are still causing illness in our communities, COVID-19 is less deadly than before and we are returning to normality. Overall, the main lesson learnt after the past few years of pandemic is that keeping our bodies healthy and immunity defenses strong using sport, nature-inspired measures, and using functional foods are powerful weapons for preventing the more severe forms of illness caused by SARS-CoV-2 and, from a more molecular perspective, that finding drugs with mechanisms of action involving biological targets conserved within the different mutations of SARS-CoV-2—and possibly within the entire family of β-coronaviruses—gives more therapeutic opportunities in the scenario of future pandemics based on these pathogens. In this re-gard, the main protease (Mpro), having no human homologues, offers a lower risk of off-target reac-tivity and represents a suitable therapeutic target in the search for efficacious, broad-spectrum anti-β-coronavirus drugs. Herein, we discuss on the above points and also report some molecular ap-proaches presented in the past few years to counteract the effects of β-coronaviruses, with a special focus on SARS-CoV-2 but also MERS-CoV.