Despite ongoing vaccination programs against COVID-19 around the world, cases of infection are still rising with new variants. This infers that an effective antiviral drug against COVID-19 is crucial along with vaccinations to decrease cases. A potential target of such antivirals could be the membrane components of the causative pathogen, SARS-CoV-2, for instance spike (S) protein. In our research, we have deployed in vitro screening of crude extracts of seven ethnomedicinal plants against the spike receptor-binding domain (S1-RBD) of SARS-CoV-2 using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Following encouraging in vitro results for Tinospora cordifolia, in silico studies were conducted for the 14 reported antiviral secondary metabolites isolated from T. cordifolia-a species widely cultivated and used as an antiviral drug in the Himalayan country of Nepal-using Genetic Optimization for Ligand Docking (GOLD), Molecular Operating Environment (MOE), and BIOVIA Discovery Studio. The molecular docking and binding energy study revealed that cordifolioside-A had a higher binding affinity and was the most effective in binding to the competitive site of the spike protein. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation studies using GROMACS 5.4.1 further assayed the interaction between the potent compound and binding sites of the spike protein. It revealed that cordifolioside-A demonstrated better binding affinity and stability, and resulted in a conformational change in S1-RBD, hence hindering the activities of the protein. In addition, ADMET analysis of the secondary metabolites from T. cordifolia revealed promising pharmacokinetic properties. Our study thus recommends that certain secondary metabolites of T. cordifolia are possible medicinal candidates against SARS-CoV-2.
Subject(s)COVID-19 , Plants, Medicinal , Humans , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation , Plants, Medicinal/metabolism , Altitude , Nepal , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Protein Binding , Molecular Dynamics Simulation
The whole world is entangled by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), people are dying in thousands each day, and without an actual medication, it seems not possible for the bringing this global health crisis to a stop. Natural products have been in constant use since ancient times and are proven by time to be effective. Crude extract or pure compounds isolated from medicinal plants and/or herbs such as Artemisia annua, Agastache rugosa, Astragalus membranaceus, Cassia alata, Ecklonia cava, Gymnema sylvestre, Glycyrrhizae uralensis, Houttuynia cordata, Lindera aggregata, Lycoris radiata, Mollugo cerviana, Polygonum multiflorum, Pyrrosia lingua, Saposhnikoviae divaricate, Tinospora cordifolia etc. have shown promising inhibitory effect against coronavirus. Several molecules, including acacetin, amentoflavone, allicin, blancoxanthone, curcumin, daidzein, diosmin, epigallocatechin-gallate, emodin, hesperidin, herbacetin, hirsutenone, iguesterin, jubanine G, kaempferol, lycorine, pectolinarin, phloroeckol, silvestrol, tanshinone I, taxifolin, rhoifolin, xanthoangelol E, zingerol etc. isolated from plants could also be potential drug candidates against COVID-19. Moreover, these could also show promising inhibitory effects against influenza-parainfluenza viruses, respiratory syncytial virus, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). Here, we have reported 93 antiviral drug candidates which could be a potential area of research in drug discovery.