Identification of sars-cov-2 e channel blockers from a repurposed drug library

Prabhat Pratap Singh Tomar, Miriam Krugliak, Isaiah T. Arkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


SARS-CoV-2, the etiological agent of the COVID-19 pandemic, is a member of the Coron-aviridae family. It is an enveloped virus with ion channels in its membrane, the most characterized of which is the E protein. Therefore, in an attempt to identify blockers of the E channel, we screened a library of 2839 approved-for-human-use drugs. Our approach yielded eight compounds that exhibited appreciable activity in three bacteria-based channel assays. Considering the fact that the E channel is the most conserved of all SARS-CoV-2 proteins, any inhibitor of its activity may provide an option to curb the viral spread. In addition, inhibitors can also enhance our ability to understand the exact role played by the E protein during the infectivity cycle. Finally, detailed electrophysiological analyses, alongside in vitro and in vivo studies will be needed to establish the exact potential of each of the blockers identified in our study.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number604
Issue number7
StatePublished - 23 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Antiviral drugs
  • Bacterial assays
  • COVID-19
  • Channel blockers
  • Viral channels


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