Investigating the potential of bioflavonoids as SARS-CoV-2 inhibitors

Bioflavonoids have been investigated as potential COVID-19 inhibitors in a study published in the International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design. The mixtures — narirutin, naringin, neohesperidin, and hesperidin — are found in citrus organic products. It is common knowledge of their numerous therapeutic and physiological effects. The chance of reusing them despite the continuous pandemic is examined considering PC’s demonstration of their association with the infection’s scandalous spike protein.

The SARS-CoV-2 infection enters our phones by utilizing a protein called S-protein to collaborate with a human protein called angiotensin, changing over compound 2, ACE2, present on the outer layer of our phones. The virus would be effectively stopped in its tracks by antiviral medications that block this mechanism. But it’s hard to find safe new antiviral drugs; it’s better to test a well-known drug or compound and use it to treat this disease.

A computer simulation of the systems was used by Pawan Gupta and his colleagues at the Shri Vile Parle Kelavani Mandals Institute of Pharmacy in Dhule, India, to determine whether various plant-derived molecules would dock with ACE2 and prevent the virus from entering. They have found that two of the four particles tried, naringin and narirutin, can bind to both the S-protein/ACE2 interface and the dynamic site of the S-protein. This implies that these normal atoms can possibly keep the infection from entering human cells and may thus be utilized to foster medicines for coronavirus.

Although the first COVID-19 victims were identified in China in late 2019, the pandemic has been raging since the beginning of 2020. Even though vaccines and preventative measures have been developed to help us deal with this emerging disease, treatments for people who do catch it are still needed. Given that many of the early-stage toxicity checks and safety trials for the use of such compounds in other health contexts will already have been conducted, repurposing may enable the rapid development of antiviral agents and their subsequent approval.

Naturally, the current work was carried out “in silico” on a computer. The next step will be to determine whether the two active lead compounds can be used in patients “in vivo” and “in vitro” in the laboratory. The team also suggests that the kind of multi-targeting they have shown up to this point in silico might also be seen with other compounds. These compounds could also be used as leads for new antiviral compounds that could be used to fight COVID-19.

More information: Vishnu Sharma et al, In silico phytochemical repurposing of natural molecules as entry inhibitors against RBD of the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 using molecular docking studies, International Journal of Computational Biology and Drug Design (2023). DOI: 10.1504/IJCBDD.2022.10053912

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