Molnupiravir: a versatile prodrug against SARS-CoV-2 variants

Divya Teli, Pankti Balar, Kishan Patel, Anu Sharma, Vivek Chavda*, Lalit Vora*, Pollen K. Yeung (Editor), Cecília R.C. Calado (Editor)

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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The nucleoside analog β-D-N4-hydroxycytidine is the active metabolite of the prodrug molnupiravir and is accepted as an efficient drug against COVID-19. Molnupiravir targets the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) enzyme, which is responsible for replicating the viral genome during the replication process of certain types of viruses. It works by disrupting the normal function of the RdRp enzyme, causing it to make mistakes during the replication of the viral genome. These mistakes can prevent the viral RNA from being transcribed, converted into a complementary DNA template, translated, or converted into a functional protein. By disrupting these crucial steps in the viral replication process, molnupiravir can effectively inhibit the replication of the virus and reduce its ability to cause disease. This review article sheds light on the impact of molnupiravir and its metabolite on SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern, such as delta, omicron, and hybrid/recombinant variants. The detailed mechanism and molecular interactions using molecular docking and dynamics have also been covered. The safety and tolerability of molnupiravir in patients with comorbidities have also been emphasized.
Original languageEnglish
Article number309
Issue number2
Early online date20 Feb 2023
Publication statusEarly online date - 20 Feb 2023


  • Review
  • prodrug
  • molnupiravir
  • N4-hydroxycytidine
  • omicron
  • patients with comorbidity


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