Peptides: Prospects for Use in the Treatment of COVID-19

Abstract

There is a vast practice of using antimalarial drugs, RAS inhibitors, serine protease inhibitors, inhibitors of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of the virus and immunosuppressants for the treatment of the severe form of COVID-19, which often occurs in patients with chronic diseases and older persons. Currently, the clinical efficacy of these drugs for COVID-19 has not been proven yet. Side effects of antimalarial drugs can worsen the condition of patients and increase the likelihood of death. Peptides, given their physiological mechanism of action, have virtually no side effects. Many of them are geroprotectors and can be used in patients with chronic diseases. Peptides may be able to prevent the development of the pathological process during COVID-19 by inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 virus proteins, thereby having immuno- and bronchoprotective effects on lung cells, and normalizing the state of the hemostasis system. Immunomodulators (RKDVY, EW, KE, AEDG), possessing a physiological mechanism of action at low concentrations, appear to be the most promising group among the peptides. They normalize the cytokines’ synthesis and have an anti-inflammatory effect, thereby preventing the development of disseminated intravascular coagulation, acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiple organ failure.

Keywords: COVID-19; drugs; hemostasis; immunity; immunomodulators; peptides.

Cited by 2 articles

References

  1. Chen N., Zhou M., Dong X., Qu J., Gong F., Han Y., Qiu Y., Wang J., Liu Y., Wei Y., et al. Epidemiological and clinical characteristics of 99 cases of 2019 novel coronavirus pneumonia in Wuhan, China: A descriptive study. Lancet. 2020;395:507–513. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30211-7. – DOI – PMC – PubMed

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