Campesterol and dithymoquinone as a potent inhibitors of SARS cov-2 main proteases-promising drug candidates for targeting its novel variants.

Publication date: Jan 30, 2024

The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has currently taken approximately 2. 4 million lives, with no specific medication and fast-tracked tested vaccines for prevention. These vaccines have their own adverse effects, which have severely affected the global healthcare system. The discovery of the main protease structure of coronavirus (Mpro/Clpro) has resulted in the identification of compounds having antiviral potential, especially from the herbal system. In this study, the computer-associated drug design tools were utilised to analyze the reported phytoconstituents of Nigella sativa for their antiviral activity against the main protease. Fifty-eight compounds were subjected to pharmacological parameter analysis to determine their lead likeness in comparison to the standard drugs (chloroquine and nirmatrelvir) used in the treatment of SARS-CoV-2. Nearly 31 compounds were docked against five different SARS-CoV-2 main proteases, and all compounds showed better binding affinity and inhibition constant against the proteases. However, dithymoquinone and campesterol displayed the best binding scores and hence were further subjected to dynamics and MMPBSA study for 100‚ÄČns. The stability analysis shows that dithymoquinone and campesterol show less variation in fluctuation in residues compared to standard complexes. Moreover, dithymoquinone exhibited higher binding affinity and favorable interaction followed by campesterol as compared to the standard drug. The in silico computational analysis provides a promising hit for regulating the main proteases activity. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.

Concepts Keywords
100ns COVID-19
Covid main proteases
Dithymoquinone molecular dynamics simulation
Pandemic Nigella sativa
Vaccines phytoconstituents


Type Source Name
disease MESH COVID-19 pandemic
drug DRUGBANK Chloroquine
drug DRUGBANK Tropicamide

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