Andrographolide binds to spike glycoprotein and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (NSP12) of SARS-CoV-2 by in silico approach: a probable molecule in the development of anti-coronaviral drug

J Genet Eng Biotechnol. 2021 Jul 13;19(1):101. doi: 10.1186/s43141-021-00201-7.


The SARS-CoV-2 belongs to Coronaviridae family infects host cells by the interaction of its spike glycoprotein and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE 2) of host cells. Upon entry, the virus uses its RNA dependent RNA polymerase (NSP12) for transcribing its genome to survive in the cell and spread its infection. The protein sequences of receptor-binding domain (RBD) of spike glycoprotein, and NSP12 exhibits high homology in the family of Coronoviridae and are ideal candidates for the development of anti-coronaviral drugs. In the quest to identify inhibitory molecules against these proteins, we searched several molecules that are present in naturally occurring medicinal plants database. Andrographolide which is largely present in the leaf extracts of Andrographis paniculata (AP) and is known to exhibit antiviral, antibacterial, and stabilizes Th1/Th2/Th17 responses; taking this clue, we used in silico approaches to see the binding of andrographolide to RBD and NSP12 molecules. Our docking results showed very strong affinity of andrographolide to RBD and NSP12 of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with dock scores of -10.3460 for RBD and -10.7313 for NSP12 indicating andrographolide acts as an inhibitor of RBD and NSP12. These unique properties of andrographolide, AP extract, can be tested as anti-coronaviral drug.

Keywords: ACE 2 receptor; Andrographolide; NSP12; RBD; SARS-CoV-2.