Zirconium-Based Metal-Organic Frameworks as Acriflavine Cargos in the Battle against Coronaviruses─A Theoretical and Experimental Approach

ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2022 Jun 14:acsami.2c06420. doi: 10.1021/acsami.2c06420. Online ahead of print.


In this study, we present a complementary approach for obtaining an effective drug, based on acriflavine (ACF) and zirconium-based metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), against SARS-CoV-2. The experimental results showed that acriflavine inhibits the interaction between viral receptor-binding domain (RBD) of spike protein and angiotensin converting enzyme-2 (ACE2) host receptor driving viral cell entry. The prepared ACF@MOF composites exhibited low (MOF-808 and UiO-66) and high (UiO-67 and NU-1000) ACF loadings. The drug release profiles from prepared composites showed different release kinetics depending on the local pore environment. The long-term ACF release with the effective antiviral ACF concentration was observed for all studied ACF@MOF composites. The density functional theory (DFT) calculations allowed us to determine that π-π stacking together with electrostatic interaction plays an important role in acriflavine adsorption and release from ACF@MOF composites. The molecular docking results have shown that acriflavine interacts with several possible binding sites within the RBD and binding site at the RBD/ACE2 interface. The cytotoxicity and ecotoxicity results have confirmed that the prepared ACF@MOF composites may be considered potentially safe for living organisms. The complementary experimental and theoretical results presented in this study have confirmed that the ACF@MOF composites may be considered a potential candidate for the COVID-19 treatment, which makes them good candidates for clinical trials.

PMID:35700479 | PMC:PMC9212192 | DOI:10.1021/acsami.2c06420


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