A potent SARS coronavirus (CoV) 3CL protease inhibitor (TG-0205221, K i = 53 nM) has been developed. TG-0205221 showed remarkable activity against SARS CoV and human coronavirus (HCoV) 229E replications by reducing the viral titer by 4.7 log (at 5 μM) for SARS CoV and 5.2 log (at 1.25 μM) for HCoV 229E. The crystal structure of TG-0205221 (resolution = 1.93 Å) has revealed a unique binding mode comprising a covalent bond, hydrogen bonds, and numerous hydrophobic interactions. Structural comparisons between TG-0205221 and a natural peptide substrate were also discussed. This information may be applied toward the design of other 3CL protease inhibitors.
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