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Article

Quinacrine, an Antimalarial Drug with Strong Activity Inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 Viral Replication In Vitro

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Unidad de Investigación Médica en Inmunología, Unidad Medica de Alta Especialidad, Hospital de Pediatría, Centro Médico Nacional “Siglo XXI”, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social, Cuauhtémoc 330, Mexico Ctiy 06720, Mexico
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Sección de Patología Experimental, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Vasco de Quiroga 15, Mexico Ctiy 14080, Mexico
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Laboratorio de Neurobioquímica y Conducta, Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía, Insurgentes sur 3877, Mexico Ctiy 14269, Mexico
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Laboratorio de Biología Molecular, Laboratorio Estatal de Salud Pública del Estado de Mexico, Estado de México, Toluca 50130, Mexico
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Unidad Funcional de Oncología Torácica y Medicina Personalizada, Instituto Nacional de Cancerología, San Fernando 22, Mexico Ctiy 14080, Mexico
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Departamento de Patología, Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico Ctiy 14080, Mexico
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Laboratorio de Neuroinmunología, Instituto Nacional de Neurología y Neurocirugía, Insurgentes sur 3877, Mexico Ctiy 14269, Mexico
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Graciela Andrei
Received: 20 December 2020 / Revised: 12 January 2021 / Accepted: 14 January 2021 / Published: 17 January 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug-Repositioning Opportunities for Antiviral Therapy)
Quinacrine (Qx), a molecule used as an antimalarial, has shown anticancer, antiprion, and antiviral activity. The most relevant antiviral activities of Qx are related to its ability to raise pH in acidic organelles, diminishing viral enzymatic activity for viral cell entry, and its ability to bind to viral DNA and RNA. Moreover, Qx has been used as an immunomodulator in cutaneous lupus erythematosus and various rheumatological diseases, by inhibiting phospholipase A2 modulating the Th1/Th2 response. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential antiviral effect of Qx against denominated severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in Vero E6 cells. The cytotoxicity of Qx in Vero E6 cells was determined by the MTT assay. Afterwards, Vero E6 cells were infected with SARS-CoV-2 at different multiplicities of infections (MOIs) of 0.1 and 0.01 in the presence of Qx (0–30 µM) to determinate the half maximal effective concentration (EC50). After 48 h, the effect of Qx against SARS-CoV-2 was assessed by viral cytotoxicity and viral copy numbers, the last were determined by digital real-time RT-PCR (ddRT-PCR). Additionally, electron and confocal microscopy of Vero E6 cells infected and treated with Qx was studied. Our data show that Qx reduces SARS-CoV-2 virus replication and virus cytotoxicity, apparently by inhibition of viral ensemble, as observed by ultrastructural images, suggesting that Qx could be a potential drug for further clinical studies against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) infection. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS CoV-2; quinacrine; antiviral drugs; virus replication SARS CoV-2; quinacrine; antiviral drugs; virus replication
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MDPI and ACS Style

Salas Rojas, M.; Silva Garcia, R.; Bini, E.; Pérez de la Cruz, V.; León Contreras, J.C.; Hernández Pando, R.; Bastida Gonzalez, F.; Davila-Gonzalez, E.; Orozco Morales, M.; Gamboa Domínguez, A.; Sotelo, J.; Pineda, B. Quinacrine, an Antimalarial Drug with Strong Activity Inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 Viral Replication In Vitro. Viruses 2021, 13, 121. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13010121

AMA Style

Salas Rojas M, Silva Garcia R, Bini E, Pérez de la Cruz V, León Contreras JC, Hernández Pando R, Bastida Gonzalez F, Davila-Gonzalez E, Orozco Morales M, Gamboa Domínguez A, Sotelo J, Pineda B. Quinacrine, an Antimalarial Drug with Strong Activity Inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 Viral Replication In Vitro. Viruses. 2021; 13(1):121. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13010121

Chicago/Turabian Style

Salas Rojas, Mónica, Raúl Silva Garcia, Estela Bini, Verónica Pérez de la Cruz, Juan C. León Contreras, Rogelio Hernández Pando, Fernando Bastida Gonzalez, Eduardo Davila-Gonzalez, Mario Orozco Morales, Armando Gamboa Domínguez, Julio Sotelo, and Benjamín Pineda. 2021. "Quinacrine, an Antimalarial Drug with Strong Activity Inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 Viral Replication In Vitro" Viruses 13, no. 1: 121. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/v13010121

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