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1.
J Comput Chem ; 42(26): 1861-1872, 2021 10 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1377584

ABSTRACT

Since December 2019, coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has claimed the lives of millions of people across the globe. To date, no medicine is available for the responsible virus SARS-CoV-2. 3CLpro, that is, 3-chymotrypsin-like protease, the main protease (Mpro ), has an important role in cleaving pp1a and pp1ab polyproteins. This Mpro serves as an important target in drug designing against COVID-19. Herein, the study includes the investigation, screening, and identification of potent leads from (Withania sps.), against SARS-CoV-2, using virtual screening, molecular docking, and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Seventy-three natural compounds from this important medicinal plant were screened. The Binding affinity was used to identify the most probable target to inhibit the Mpro , compounds 27-hydroxywithanolide F (W32, -11.5 kcal/mol), withanolide A (W56, -11.4 kcal/mol), and withacoagulin H (W30, -11.1 kcal/mol) showed highest binding energy. Lipinski's rule, followed by drug-likability and likeness screening, resulted in 36 molecules. Further, MD simulation of 50 ns predicted withacoagulin H possessing strong binding affinity and hydrogen-bonding interactions with the active site. The binding free energy calculation showed the most negative energy of withacoagulin H (-63.463 KJ/mol) compared to other selected compounds. The study also compared the bonding energy of already reported repurposed and newly synthesized drugs. Further, absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion predictions were made to found a good balance of potency. Hence the following screened compounds from Withania sps. could serve as the potential leads for drug development against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Drug Discovery , Protease Inhibitors/chemistry , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Withania/chemistry , COVID-19/drug therapy , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects
2.
PLoS One ; 16(6): e0248479, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1266543

ABSTRACT

The Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2 has become a global pandemic in a very short time span. Currently, there is no specific treatment or vaccine to counter this highly contagious disease. There is an urgent need to find a specific cure for the disease and global efforts are directed at developing SARS-CoV-2 specific antivirals and immunomodulators. Ayurvedic Rasayana therapy has been traditionally used in India for its immunomodulatory and adaptogenic effects, and more recently has been included as therapeutic adjuvant for several maladies. Amongst several others, Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), Tinospora cordifolia (Guduchi) and Asparagus racemosus (Shatavari) play an important role in Rasayana therapy. The objective of this study was to explore the immunomodulatory and anti SARS-CoV2 potential of phytoconstituents from Ashwagandha, Guduchi and Shatavari using network pharmacology and docking. The plant extracts were prepared as per ayurvedic procedures and a total of 31 phytoconstituents were identified using UHPLC-PDA and mass spectrometry studies. To assess the immunomodulatory potential of these phytoconstituents an in-silico network pharmacology model was constructed. The model predicts that the phytoconstituents possess the potential to modulate several targets in immune pathways potentially providing a protective role. To explore if these phytoconstituents also possess antiviral activity, docking was performed with the Spike protein, Main Protease and RNA dependent RNA polymerase of the virus. Interestingly, several phytoconstituents are predicted to possess good affinity for the three targets, suggesting their application for the termination of viral life cycle. Further, predictive tools indicate that there would not be adverse herb-drug pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic interactions with concomitantly administered drug therapy. We thus make a compelling case to evaluate the potential of these Rasayana botanicals as therapeutic adjuvants in the management of COVID-19 following rigorous experimental validation.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/metabolism , Asparagus Plant/chemistry , COVID-19/metabolism , Immunologic Factors/metabolism , Molecular Docking Simulation/methods , Plant Extracts/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/enzymology , Tinospora/chemistry , Withania/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacokinetics , Binding Sites , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/virology , Coronavirus 3C Proteases/metabolism , Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/metabolism , Herb-Drug Interactions , Humans , Immunologic Factors/pharmacokinetics , India , Medicine, Ayurvedic/methods , Phytotherapy/methods , Plant Extracts/pharmacokinetics , Protein Binding , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism
3.
Drug Des Devel Ther ; 15: 1111-1133, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1150609

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: SARS-CoV-2 engages human ACE2 through its spike (S) protein receptor binding domain (RBD) to enter the host cell. Recent computational studies have reported that withanone and withaferin A, phytochemicals found in Withania somnifera, target viral main protease (MPro) and host transmembrane TMPRSS2, and glucose related protein 78 (GRP78), respectively, implicating their potential as viral entry inhibitors. Absence of specific treatment against SARS-CoV-2 infection has encouraged exploration of phytochemicals as potential antivirals. AIM: This study aimed at in silico exploration, along with in vitro and in vivo validation of antiviral efficacy of the phytochemical withanone. METHODS: Through molecular docking, molecular dynamic (MD) simulation and electrostatic energy calculation the plausible biochemical interactions between withanone and the ACE2-RBD complex were investigated. These in silico observations were biochemically validated by ELISA-based assays. Withanone-enriched extract from W. somnifera was tested for its ability to ameliorate clinically relevant pathological features, modelled in humanized zebrafish through SARS-CoV-2 recombinant spike (S) protein induction. RESULTS: Withanone bound efficiently at the interacting interface of the ACE2-RBD complex and destabilized it energetically. The electrostatic component of binding free energies of the complex was significantly decreased. The two intrachain salt bridge interactions (K31-E35) and the interchain long-range ion-pair (K31-E484), at the ACE2-RBD interface were completely abolished by withanone, in the 50 ns simulation. In vitro binding assay experimentally validated that withanone efficiently inhibited (IC50=0.33 ng/mL) the interaction between ACE2 and RBD, in a dose-dependent manner. A withanone-enriched extract, without any co-extracted withaferin A, was prepared from W. somnifera leaves. This enriched extract was found to be efficient in ameliorating human-like pathological responses induced in humanized zebrafish by SARS-CoV-2 recombinant spike (S) protein. CONCLUSION: In conclusion, this study provided experimental validation for computational insight into the potential of withanone as a potent inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus entry into the host cells.


Subject(s)
Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2/metabolism , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Withania , Withanolides/pharmacology , A549 Cells , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/isolation & purification , COVID-19/enzymology , COVID-19/virology , Disease Models, Animal , Female , Host-Pathogen Interactions , Humans , Male , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Static Electricity , Structure-Activity Relationship , Virus Internalization/drug effects , Withania/chemistry , Withanolides/chemistry , Withanolides/isolation & purification , Zebrafish
4.
Phytomedicine ; 84: 153482, 2021 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1051912

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Approximately 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression. The COVID-19 crisis may dramatically increase these numbers. Severe side effects and resistance development limit the use of standard antidepressants. The steroidal lactone withanolide A (WA) from Withania somnifera may be a promising alternative. Caenorhabditis elegans was used as model to explore WA's anti-depressive and anti-stress potential. METHODS: C. elegans wildtype (N2) and deficient strains (AQ866, DA1814, DA2100, DA2109 and MT9772) were used to assess oxidative, osmotic or heat stress as measured by generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), determination of lifespan, and mRNA expression of serotonin receptor (ser-1, ser-4, ser-7) and serotonin transporter genes (mod-5). The protective effect of WA was compared to fluoxetine as clinically established antidepressant. Additionally, WA's effect on lifespan was determined. Furthermore, the binding affinities and pKi values of WA, fluoxetine and serotonin as natural ligand to Ser-1, Ser-4, Ser-7, Mod-5 and their human orthologues proteins were calculated by molecular docking. RESULTS: Baseline oxidative stress was higher in deficient than wildtype worms. WA and fluoxetine reduced ROS levels in all strains except MT9772. WA and fluoxetine prolonged survival times in wildtype and mutants under osmotic stress. WA but not fluoxetine increased lifespan of all heat-stressed C. elegans strains except DA2100. Furthermore, WA but not fluoxetine extended lifespan in all non-stressed C. elegans strains. WA also induced mRNA expression of serotonin receptors and transporters in wildtype and mutants. WA bound with higher affinity and lower pKi values to all C. elegans and human serotonin receptors and transporters than serotonin, indicating that WA may competitively displaced serotonin from the binding pockets of these proteins. CONCLUSION: WA reduced stress and increased lifespan by ROS scavenging and interference with the serotonin system. Hence, WA may serve as promising candidate to treat depression.


Subject(s)
Caenorhabditis elegans Proteins/genetics , Caenorhabditis elegans/drug effects , Longevity/drug effects , Receptors, Serotonin/genetics , Withanolides/pharmacology , Animals , Caenorhabditis elegans/physiology , Fluoxetine/pharmacology , Gene Knockout Techniques , Molecular Docking Simulation , Oxidative Stress/drug effects , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Reactive Oxygen Species/metabolism , Receptors, Serotonin/metabolism , Withania/chemistry
5.
J Biomol Struct Dyn ; 40(4): 1858-1908, 2022 Mar.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-947599

ABSTRACT

Coronaviruses are etiological agents of extreme human and animal infection resulting in abnormalities primarily in the respiratory tract. Presently, there is no defined COVID-19 intervention and clinical trials of prospective therapeutic agents are still in the nascent stage. Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal (WS), is an important medicinal plant in Ayurveda. The present study aimed to evaluate the antiviral potential of selected WS phytoconstituents against the novel SARS-CoV-2 target proteins and human ACE2 receptor using in silico methods. Most of the phytoconstituents displayed good absorption and transport kinetics and were also found to display no associated mutagenic or adverse effect(s). Molecular docking analyses revealed that most of the WS phytoconstituents exhibited potent binding to human ACE2 receptor, SAR-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoproteins as well as the two main SARS-CoV-2 proteases. Most of the phytoconstituents were predicted to undergo Phase-I metabolism prior to excretion. All phytoconstituents had favorable bioactivity scores with respect to various receptor proteins and target enzymes. SAR analysis revealed that the number of oxygen atoms in the withanolide backbone and structural rearrangements were crucial for effective binding. Molecular simulation analyses of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and papain-like protease with Withanolides A and B, respectively, displayed a stability profile at 300 K and constant RMSDs of protein side chains and Cα atoms throughout the simulation run time. In a nutshell, WS phytoconstituents warrant further investigations in vitro and in vivo to unravel their molecular mechanism(s) and modes of action for their future development as novel antiviral agents against COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Withania , Animals , Antiviral Agents/chemistry , Antiviral Agents/pharmacology , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus , Withania/chemistry
6.
J Biomol Struct Dyn ; 40(1): 190-203, 2022 Jan.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-733451

ABSTRACT

COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease 2019) is a transmissible disease initiated and propagated through a new virus strain SARS-CoV-2 (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2) since 31st December 2019 in Wuhan city of China and the infection has outspread globally influencing millions of people. Here, an attempt was made to recognize natural phytochemicals from medicinal plants, in order to reutilize them against COVID-19 by the virtue of molecular docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation study. Molecular docking study showed six probable inhibitors against SARS-CoV-2 Mpro (Main protease), two from Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha) (Withanoside V [10.32 kcal/mol] and Somniferine [9.62 kcal/mol]), one from Tinospora cordifolia (Giloy) (Tinocordiside [8.10 kcal/mol]) and three from Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) (Vicenin [8.97 kcal/mol], Isorientin 4'-O-glucoside 2″-O-p-hydroxybenzoagte [8.55 kcal/mol] and Ursolic acid [8.52 kcal/mol]). ADMET profile prediction showed that the best docked phytochemicals from present work were safe and possesses drug-like properties. Further MD simulation study was performed to assess the constancy of docked complexes and found stable. Hence from present study it could be suggested that active phytochemicals from medicinal plants could potentially inhibit Mpro of SARS-CoV-2 and further equip the management strategy against COVID-19-a global contagion. HighlightsHolistic approach of Ayurvedic medicinal plants to avenge against COVID-19 pandemic.Active phytoconstituents of Ayurvedic medicinal plants Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha), Tinospora cordifolia (Giloy) and Ocimum sanctum (Tulsi) predicted to significantly hinder main protease (Mpro or 3Clpro) of SARS-CoV-2.Through molecular docking and molecular dynamic simulation study, Withanoside V, Somniferine, Tinocordiside, Vicenin, Ursolic acid and Isorientin 4'-O-glucoside 2″-O-p-hydroxybenzoagte were anticipated to impede the activity of SARS-CoV-2 Mpro.Drug-likeness and ADMET profile prediction of best docked compounds from present study were predicted to be safe, drug-like compounds with no toxicity.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus 3C Proteases/antagonists & inhibitors , Ocimum sanctum , Plant Extracts/pharmacology , Protease Inhibitors/pharmacology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , Tinospora , Withania , COVID-19 , Humans , Molecular Docking Simulation , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Ocimum sanctum/chemistry , Phytochemicals/pharmacology , Plants, Medicinal/chemistry , Tinospora/chemistry , Withania/chemistry
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