Targeting protein-protein interaction interfaces in COVID-19 drug discovery


To date, the COVID-19 pandemic has claimed over 1 million human lives, infected another 50 million individuals and wreaked havoc on the global economy. The crisis has spurred the ongoing development of drugs targeting its etiological agent, the SARS-CoV-2. Targeting relevant protein-protein interaction interfaces (PPIIs) is a viable paradigm for the design of antiviral drugs and enriches the targetable chemical space by providing alternative targets for drug discovery. In this review, we will provide a comprehensive overview of the theory, methods and applications of PPII-targeted drug development towards COVID-19 based on recent literature. We will also highlight novel developments, such as the successful use of non-native protein-protein interactions as targets for antiviral drug screening. We hope that this review may serve as an entry point for those interested in applying PPIIs towards COVID-19 drug discovery and speed up drug development against the pandemic.



COVID-19, PPIIs, Antiviral strategy, Drug discovery, SARS-CoV-2