Low-Dose Fluvoxamine Modulates Endocytic Trafficking of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein: A Potential Mechanism for Anti-COVID-19 Protection by Antidepressants

Oleg O. Glebov*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Commonly prescribed antidepressants may be associated with protection against severe COVID-19. The mechanism of their action in this context, however, remains unknown. Here, I investigated the effect of an antidepressant drug fluvoxamine on membrane trafficking of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and its cell host receptor ACE2 in HEK293T cells. A sub-therapeutic concentration (80 nM) of fluvoxamine rapidly upregulated fluid-phase endocytosis, resulting in enhanced accumulation of the spike-ACE2 complex in enlarged early endosomes. Diversion of endosomal trafficking provides a simple cell biological mechanism consistent with the protective effect of antidepressants against COVID-19, highlighting their therapeutic and prophylactic potential.

Original languageEnglish
Article number787261
JournalFrontiers in Pharmacology
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • antidepressants
  • COVID-19
  • drug repurposing
  • endocytosis
  • SARS-CoV-2

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Low-Dose Fluvoxamine Modulates Endocytic Trafficking of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Protein: A Potential Mechanism for Anti-COVID-19 Protection by Antidepressants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this