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Pharmacoinformatics and hypothetical studies on allicin, curcumin, and gingerol as potential candidates against COVID-19-associated proteases

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Medicinal plants have been known to provide the essential raw material for the majority of antiviral drugs. This study demonstrated the putative inhibitory potential of curcumin, allicin, and gingerol towards cathepsin K, COVID-19 main protease, and SARS-CoV 3 C-like protease. The pharmacokinetic properties were predicted through the SwissADME server while the corresponding binding affinity of the selected phytocompounds towards the proteins was computed using PyRx-Python Prescription 0.8 and the binding free energy were computed based on conventional molecular dynamics using LARMD server. The ADMET properties revealed all the drugs possess drug-like properties. Curcumin has the highest binding affinities with all the selected proteases while allicin has the lowest binding affinities towards the proteases. Moreover, it was observed that curcumin exhibited the highest binding free energy of -17.90 ± 0.23, -18.21 ± 0.25, and -9.67 ± 0.08 kcal/mol for Cathepsin K, COVID-19 main protease, and SARS-CoV 3 C-like protease, respectively. Based on the activities of the phytocompounds against coronavirus target proteases involved in the viral entry as evident from the results, the study, therefore, suggests that these phytocompounds could be valuable for the development of drugs useful for the prevention of coronavirus entry and replication.

Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.