The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is of severe concern around the world. It continues to cause many infections and deaths everyday. Some rapid progress in the area of developing vaccines to provide immunity against SARS-CoV-2 provided everyone with much needed hope of controlling the further spread of virus and eventually eradicating the disease. Apart from Vaccines there is also a urgent need to find new drugs to combat with fast mutating SARS-CoV-2.
Recently a drug, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), developed by DRDO had been given emergency approval by DCGI as a adjunct therapy in treating moderate to severe cases of Covid-19. 2-DG acts a Glycolysis inhibitor by blocking the pathway at initial stages.
Further research in this regard by scientists at CCMB, the Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, Delhi, and Academy for Scientific and Innovative research, Ghaziabad has now shown that 2-DG will be very effective on all variants as it modifies the metabolic requirements of virus inside the host cell. The research work was carried out on B.6 and B.1.1.7 variant of SARS-CoV-2.
The virus modifies the host cell metabolism which leads in up regulation of glycolysis in the cells. This switch is crucial for the survival of virus as glycolysis provides energy in the form of ATP and biomolecules required for fatty acid synthesis and nucleotide generation. These are essential for synthesis and packaging of new virus particles.
Results published in BioRxiv on June 13th shows that 2-DG effectively interferes with the metabolic changes induced by virus and thereby prevents cell death by reducing infection-induced cytopathic effect (CPE). The researchers used florescent labelled 2-DG to successfully demonstrate high glucose influx in cells after virus infection. Results from the research also showed reduced ability of virus to infect when treated with 2-DG and this controlled multiplication of virus by 95%. These results strongly suggests 2-DG inhibits virus multiplication and can be a possible drug for treating Covid-19.
Glycolytic inhibitor 2-Deoxy-D-glucose attenuates SARS-CoV-2 multiplication in host cells and weakens the infective potential of progeny virions – Authors : Anant Narayan Bhatt, Abhishek Kumar, Yogesh Rai, Neeraj Kumari, Dhiviya Vedagiri, Krishnan H. Harshan, Vijayakumar Chinnadurai, Sudhir Chandna