An updated review on SARS-CoV-2 main proteinase (MPro): Protein structure and small-molecule inhibitors

Dima A. Sabbah, Rima Hajjo, Sanaa K. Bardaweel, Haizhen A. Zhong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Coronaviruses (CoVs) are enveloped positive-stranded RNA viruses with spike (S) protein projections that allow the virus to enter and infect host cells. The S protein is a key virulence factor determining viral pathogenesis, host tropism, and disease pathogenesis. There are currently diverse corona viruses that are known to cause disease in humans. The occurrence of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), as fatal human CoV diseases, has induced significant interest in the medical field. The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a novel strain of coronavirus (SAR-CoV-2). The SARS-CoV2 outbreak has been evolved in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and identified as a pandemic in March 2020, resulting in 53.24 M cases and 1.20M deaths worldwide. SARS-CoV-2 main proteinase (MPro), a key protease of CoV-2, mediates viral replication and transcription. SARS-CoV-2 MPro has been emerged as an attractive target for SARS-CoV-2 drug design and development. Diverse scaffolds have been released targeting SARS-CoV-2 MPro. In this review, we culminate the latest published information about SARS-CoV-2 main proteinase (MPro) and reported inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-460
Number of pages19
JournalCurrent Topics in Medicinal Chemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus
  • Inhibitors
  • Main proteinase (M)
  • Papain-like proteinase (PL)
  • Sars-cov-2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery


Dive into the research topics of 'An updated review on SARS-CoV-2 main proteinase (MPro): Protein structure and small-molecule inhibitors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this