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PLoS One . In silico study of alkaloids with quercetin nucleus for inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 protease and receptor cell protease

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  • PLoS One . In silico study of alkaloids with quercetin nucleus for inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 protease and receptor cell protease

    PLoS One


    . 2024 Apr 16;19(4):e0298201.
    doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0298201. eCollection 2024. In silico study of alkaloids with quercetin nucleus for inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 protease and receptor cell protease

    Ali Mohebbi 1 , Marzieh Eskandarzadeh 2 , Hanieh Zangi 1 , Marzie Fatehi 1



    AffiliationsAbstract

    Covid-19 disease caused by the deadly SARS-CoV-2 virus is a serious and threatening global health issue declared by the WHO as an epidemic. Researchers are studying the design and discovery of drugs to inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus due to its high mortality rate. The main Covid-19 virus protease (Mpro) and human transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMPRSS2) are attractive targets for the study of antiviral drugs against SARS-2 coronavirus. Increasing consumption of herbal medicines in the community and a serious approach to these drugs have increased the demand for effective herbal substances. Alkaloids are one of the most important active ingredients in medicinal plants that have wide applications in the pharmaceutical industry. In this study, seven alkaloid ligands with Quercetin nucleus for the inhibition of Mpro and TMPRSS2 were studied using computational drug design including molecular docking and molecular dynamics simulation (MD). Auto Dock software was used to evaluate molecular binding energy. Three ligands with the most negative docking score were selected to be entered into the MD simulation procedure. To evaluate the protein conformational changes induced by tested ligands and calculate the binding energy between the ligands and target proteins, GROMACS software based on AMBER03 force field was used. The MD results showed that Phyllospadine and Dracocephin-A form stable complexes with Mpro and TMPRSS2. Prolinalin-A indicated an acceptable inhibitory effect on Mpro, whereas it resulted in some structural instability of TMPRSS2. The total binding energies between three ligands, Prolinalin-A, Phyllospadine and Dracocephin-A and two proteins MPro and TMRPSS2 are (-111.235 ± 15.877, - 75.422 ± 11.140), (-107.033 ± 9.072, -84.939 ± 10.155) and (-102.941 ± 9.477, - 92.451 ± 10.539), respectively. Since the binding energies are at a minimum, this indicates confirmation of the proper binding of the ligands to the proteins. Regardless of some Prolinalin-A-induced TMPRSS2 conformational changes, it may properly bind to TMPRSS2 binding site due to its acceptable binding energy. Therefore, these three ligands can be promising candidates for the development of drugs to treat infections caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


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