Drug Discov Today. 2020 Sep 16:S1359-6446(20)30371-8. doi: 10.1016/j.drudis.2020.09.013. Online ahead of print.
As a result of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections, a clinical complication can arise that is characterized by a hyperinflammatory cytokine profile, often termed a 'cytokine storm'. A protein complex (nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells; NF-κB) is intricately involved in regulating inflammation and the immune response following viral infections, with a reduction in cytokine production often observed following a decrease in NF-κB activity. An approved asthma drug, montelukast, has been found to modulate the activity of NF-κB, and result in a corresponding decrease in proinflammatory mediators. Herein, we hypothesize that repurposing montelukast to suppress NF-κB activation will result in an attenuation of proinflammatory mediators and a decrease in cytokine production, thereby leading to a reduction in symptom severity and to improved clinical outcomes in patients with Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).