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Glycyrrhizin Effectively Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication by Inhibiting the Viral Main Protease

Department of Infectious Diseases, West German Centre of Infectious Diseases, Universitätsmedizin Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, 45147 Essen, Germany
Department of Molecular and Medical Virology, Faculty of Medicine, Ruhr University Bochum, 44801 Bochum, Germany
Institute for Virology, University Hospital Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, 45147 Essen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kenneth Lundstrom and Alaa A. A. Aljabali
Viruses 2021, 13(4), 609;
Received: 9 March 2021 / Revised: 23 March 2021 / Accepted: 31 March 2021 / Published: 2 April 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Vaccines and Therapeutics against Coronaviruses)
The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 developed into a global pandemic affecting millions of people worldwide. Despite one year of intensive research, the current treatment options for SARS-CoV-2 infected people are still limited. Clearly, novel antiviral compounds for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients are still urgently needed. Complementary medicine is used along with standard medical treatment and accessible to a vast majority of people worldwide. Natural products with antiviral activity may contribute to improve the overall condition of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals. In the present study, we investigated the antiviral activity of glycyrrhizin, the primary active ingredient of the licorice root, against SARS-CoV-2. We demonstrated that glycyrrhizin potently inhibits SARS-CoV-2 replication in vitro. Furthermore, we uncovered the underlying mechanism and showed that glycyrrhizin blocks the viral replication by inhibiting the viral main protease Mpro that is essential for viral replication. Our data indicate that the consumption of glycyrrhizin-containing products such as licorice root tea of black licorice may be of great benefit for SARS-CoV-2 infected people. Furthermore, glycyrrhizin is a good candidate for further investigation for clinical use to treat COVID-19 patients. View Full-Text
Keywords: SARS-CoV-2; glycyrrhizin; main protease SARS-CoV-2; glycyrrhizin; main protease
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MDPI and ACS Style

van de Sand, L.; Bormann, M.; Alt, M.; Schipper, L.; Heilingloh, C.S.; Steinmann, E.; Todt, D.; Dittmer, U.; Elsner, C.; Witzke, O.; Krawczyk, A. Glycyrrhizin Effectively Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication by Inhibiting the Viral Main Protease. Viruses 2021, 13, 609.

AMA Style

van de Sand L, Bormann M, Alt M, Schipper L, Heilingloh CS, Steinmann E, Todt D, Dittmer U, Elsner C, Witzke O, Krawczyk A. Glycyrrhizin Effectively Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication by Inhibiting the Viral Main Protease. Viruses. 2021; 13(4):609.

Chicago/Turabian Style

van de Sand, Lukas, Maren Bormann, Mira Alt, Leonie Schipper, Christiane Silke Heilingloh, Eike Steinmann, Daniel Todt, Ulf Dittmer, Carina Elsner, Oliver Witzke, and Adalbert Krawczyk. 2021. "Glycyrrhizin Effectively Inhibits SARS-CoV-2 Replication by Inhibiting the Viral Main Protease" Viruses 13, no. 4: 609.

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