Effectiveness of Natural Antioxidants against SARS-CoV-2? Insights from the In-Silico World

Muhammad Fayyaz ur Rehman, Shahzaib Akhter, Aima Iram Batool, Zeliha Selamoglu, Mustafa Sevindik, Rida Eman, Muhammad Mustaqeem, Safwan Akram, Fariha Kanwal, Changrui Lu, Mehwish Aslam

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The SARS CoV-2 pandemic has affected millions of people around the globe. Despite many efforts to find some effective medicines against SARS CoV-2, no established therapeutics are available yet. The use of phytochemicals as antiviral agents provides hope against the proliferation of SARS-CoV-2. Several natural compounds were analyzed by virtual screening against six SARS CoV-2 protein targets using molecular docking simulations in the present study. More than a hun- dred plant-derived secondary metabolites have been docked, including alkaloids, flavonoids, cou- marins, and steroids. SARS CoV-2 protein targets include Main protease (MPro), Papain-like protease (PLpro), RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), Spike glycoprotein (S), Helicase (Nsp13), and E- Channel protein. Phytochemicals were evaluated by molecular docking, and MD simulations were performed using the YASARA structure using a modified genetic algorithm and AMBER03 force field. Binding energies and dissociation constants allowed the identification of potentially active compounds. Ligand-protein interactions provide an insight into the mechanism and potential of identified compounds. Glycyrrhizin and its metabolite 18-β-glycyrrhetinic acid have shown a strong binding affinity for MPro, helicase, RdRp, spike, and E-channel proteins, while a flavonoid Baicalin also strongly binds against PLpro and RdRp. The use of identified phytochemicals may help to speed up the drug development and provide natural protection against SARS-CoV-2
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1011
Number of pages1044
Issue number8
Early online date20 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2021


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