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Communication

Potential In Vitro Inhibition of Selected Plant Extracts against SARS-CoV-2 Chymotripsin-Like Protease (3CLPro) Activity

Instituto de Conservación y Mejora de la Agrodiversidad Valenciana, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
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Academic Editors: Filomena Nazzaro and Eng Antonio d’Acierno
Foods 2021, 10(7), 1503; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071503
Received: 17 May 2021 / Revised: 15 June 2021 / Accepted: 22 June 2021 / Published: 29 June 2021
Antiviral treatments inhibiting Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) replication may represent a strategy complementary to vaccination to fight the ongoing Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic. Molecules or extracts inhibiting the SARS-CoV-2 chymotripsin-like protease (3CLPro) could contribute to reducing or suppressing SARS-CoV-2 replication. Using a targeted approach, we identified 17 plant products that are included in current and traditional cuisines as promising inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 3CLPro activity. Methanolic extracts were evaluated in vitro for inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 3CLPro activity using a quenched fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) assay. Extracts from turmeric (Curcuma longa) rhizomes, mustard (Brassica nigra) seeds, and wall rocket (Diplotaxis erucoides subsp. erucoides) at 500 µg mL−1 displayed significant inhibition of the 3CLPro activity, resulting in residual protease activities of 0.0%, 9.4%, and 14.9%, respectively. Using different extract concentrations, an IC50 value of 15.74 µg mL−1 was calculated for turmeric extract. Commercial curcumin inhibited the 3CLPro activity, but did not fully account for the inhibitory effect of turmeric rhizomes extracts, suggesting that other components of the turmeric extract must also play a main role in inhibiting the 3CLPro activity. Sinigrin, a major glucosinolate present in mustard seeds and wall rocket, did not have relevant 3CLPro inhibitory activity; however, its hydrolysis product allyl isothiocyanate had an IC50 value of 41.43 µg mL−1. The current study identifies plant extracts and molecules that can be of interest in the search for treatments against COVID-19, acting as a basis for future chemical, in vivo, and clinical trials. View Full-Text
Keywords: allyl isothiocyanate; COVID-19; curcumin; FRET assay; mustard seeds; natural compounds; plant extracts; SARS-CoV-2 3CLPro; turmeric; wall rocket allyl isothiocyanate; COVID-19; curcumin; FRET assay; mustard seeds; natural compounds; plant extracts; SARS-CoV-2 3CLPro; turmeric; wall rocket
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guijarro-Real, C.; Plazas, M.; Rodríguez-Burruezo, A.; Prohens, J.; Fita, A. Potential In Vitro Inhibition of Selected Plant Extracts against SARS-CoV-2 Chymotripsin-Like Protease (3CLPro) Activity. Foods 2021, 10, 1503. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071503

AMA Style

Guijarro-Real C, Plazas M, Rodríguez-Burruezo A, Prohens J, Fita A. Potential In Vitro Inhibition of Selected Plant Extracts against SARS-CoV-2 Chymotripsin-Like Protease (3CLPro) Activity. Foods. 2021; 10(7):1503. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071503

Chicago/Turabian Style

Guijarro-Real, Carla, Mariola Plazas, Adrián Rodríguez-Burruezo, Jaime Prohens, and Ana Fita. 2021. "Potential In Vitro Inhibition of Selected Plant Extracts against SARS-CoV-2 Chymotripsin-Like Protease (3CLPro) Activity" Foods 10, no. 7: 1503. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071503

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