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Antiviral Properties of the NSAID Drug Naproxen Targeting the Nucleoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus

Abstract : There is an urgent need for specific antiviral treatments directed against SARS-CoV-2 to prevent the most severe forms of COVID-19. By drug repurposing, affordable therapeutics could be supplied worldwide in the present pandemic context. Targeting the nucleoprotein N of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus could be a strategy to impede viral replication and possibly other essential functions associated with viral N. The antiviral properties of naproxen, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) that was previously demonstrated to be active against Influenza A virus, were evaluated against SARS-CoV-2. Intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy, fluorescence anisotropy, and dynamic light scattering assays demonstrated naproxen binding to the nucleoprotein of SARS-Cov-2 as predicted by molecular modeling. Naproxen impeded recombinant N oligomerization and inhibited viral replication in infected cells. In VeroE6 cells and reconstituted human primary respiratory epithelium models of SARS-CoV-2 infection, naproxen specifically inhibited viral replication and protected the bronchial epithelia against SARS-CoV-2-induced damage. No inhibition of viral replication was observed with paracetamol or the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib. Thus, among the NSAID tested, only naproxen combined antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Naproxen addition to the standard of care could be beneficial in a clinical setting, as tested in an ongoing clinical study.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, November 24, 2021 - 4:23:20 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, May 21, 2022 - 3:57:00 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Friday, February 25, 2022 - 7:37:01 PM


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Olivier Terrier, Sébastien Dilly, Andrés Pizzorno, Dominika Chalupska, Jana Humpolickova, et al.. Antiviral Properties of the NSAID Drug Naproxen Targeting the Nucleoprotein of SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus. Molecules, MDPI, 2021, 26 (9), pp.2593. ⟨10.3390/molecules26092593⟩. ⟨inserm-03447109⟩



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