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Abstract Title:

Epicatechin is a promising novel inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 entry by disrupting interactions between angiotensin-converting enzyme type 2 and the viral receptor binding domain: A computational/simulation study.

Abstract Source:

Comput Biol Med. 2022 Feb ;141:105155. Epub 2021 Dec 17. PMID: 34942397

Abstract Author(s):

Mohammed Baqur S Al-Shuhaib, Hayder O Hashim, Jafar M B Al-Shuhaib

Article Affiliation:

Mohammed Baqur S Al-Shuhaib


Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the first target of SARS-CoV-2 and a key functional host receptor through which this virus hooks into and infects human cells. The necessity to block this receptor is one of the essential means to prevent the outbreak of COVID-19. This study was conducted to determine the most eligible natural compound to suppress ACE2 to counterfeit its interaction with the viral infection. To do this, the most known compounds of sixty-six Iraqi medicinal plants were generated and retrieved from PubChem database. After preparing a library for Iraqi medicinal plants, 3663 unique ligands' conformers were docked to ACE2 using the GLIDE tool. Results found that twenty-three compounds exhibited the highest binding affinity with ACE2. The druglikeness and toxicity potentials of these compounds were evaluated using SwissADME and Protox servers respectively. Out of these virtually screened twenty-three compounds, epicatechin and kempferol were predicted to exert the highest druglikeness and lowest toxicity potentials. Extended Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations showed that ACE2-epicatechin complex exhibited a slightly higher binding stability than ACE2-kempferol complex. In addition to the well-known ACE2 inhibitors that were identified in previous studies, this study revealed for the first time that epicatechin from Hypericum perforatum provided a better static and dynamic inhibition for ACE2 with highly favourable pharmacokinetic properties than the other known ACE2 inhibiting compounds. This study entailed the ability of epicatechin to be used as a potent natural inhibitor that can be used to block or at least weaken the SARS-CoV-2 entry and its subsequent invasion. In vitro experiments are required to validate epicatechin effectiveness against the activity of the human ACE2 receptor.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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