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Open AccessHypothesis

Flavonoids Activation of the Transcription Factor Nrf2 as a Hypothesis Approach for the Prevention and Modulation of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Severity

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL 32307, USA
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Antioxidants 2020, 9(8), 659; https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9080659
Received: 10 June 2020 / Revised: 22 July 2020 / Accepted: 22 July 2020 / Published: 24 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Natural and Synthetic Antioxidants)
The Nrf2-Keap1-ARE pathway is the principal regulator of antioxidant and phase II detoxification genes. Its activation increases the expression of antioxidant and cytoprotective proteins, protecting cells against infections. Nrf2 modulates virus-induced oxidative stress, ROS generation, and disease pathogenesis, which are vital in the viral life cycle. During respiratory viral infections, such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), an inflammatory process, and oxidative stress of the epithelium lining cells activate the transcription factor Nrf2, which protects cells from oxidative stress and inflammation. Nrf2 reduces angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptors expression in respiratory epithelial cells. SARS-CoV2 has a high affinity for ACE2 that works as receptors for coronavirus surface spike glycoprotein, facilitating viral entry. Disease severity may also be modulated by pre-existing conditions, such as impaired immune response, obesity, and age, where decreased level of Nrf2 is a common feature. Consequently, Nrf2 activators may increase Nrf2 levels and enhance antiviral mediators’ expression, which could initiate an “antiviral state”, priming cells against viral infection. Therefore, this hypothesis paper describes the use of flavonoid supplements combined with vitamin D3 to activate Nrf2, which may be a potential target to prevent and/or decrease SARS-CoV-2 infection severity, reducing oxidative stress and inflammation, enhancing innate immunity, and downregulating ACE2 receptors. View Full-Text
Keywords: ACE2 receptors; COVID-19; EGCG; flavonoids; Nrf2; SARS-CoV2; thymoquinone; Vitamin D3 ACE2 receptors; COVID-19; EGCG; flavonoids; Nrf2; SARS-CoV2; thymoquinone; Vitamin D3
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mendonca, P.; Soliman, K.F.A. Flavonoids Activation of the Transcription Factor Nrf2 as a Hypothesis Approach for the Prevention and Modulation of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Severity. Antioxidants 2020, 9, 659. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9080659

AMA Style

Mendonca P, Soliman KFA. Flavonoids Activation of the Transcription Factor Nrf2 as a Hypothesis Approach for the Prevention and Modulation of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Severity. Antioxidants. 2020; 9(8):659. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9080659

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mendonca, Patricia; Soliman, Karam F.A. 2020. "Flavonoids Activation of the Transcription Factor Nrf2 as a Hypothesis Approach for the Prevention and Modulation of SARS-CoV-2 Infection Severity" Antioxidants 9, no. 8: 659. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox9080659

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