6-Shogaol Exhibits Anti-viral and Anti-inflammatory Activity in COVID-19-Associated Inflammation by Regulating NLRP3 Inflammasomes

ACS Omega. 2023 Jan 6;8(2):2618-2628. doi: 10.1021/acsomega.2c07138. eCollection 2023 Jan 17.


Recent global health concern motivated the exploration of natural medicinal plant resources as an alternative target for treating COVID-19 infection and associated inflammation. In the current study, a phytochemical, 6-shogaol [1-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)dec-4-en-3-one; 6-SHO] was investigated as a potential anti-inflammatory and anti-COVID-19 agent. In virus release assay, 6-SHO efficiently (94.5%) inhibited SARS-CoV2 replication. When tested in the inflammasome activation model, 6-SHO displayed mechanistic action by regulating the expression of the inflammasome pathway molecules. In comparison to the existing drugs, remdesivir and hydroxy-chloroquine, 6-SHO was not only found to be as effective as the standard anti-viral drugs but also much superior and safe in terms of predicted physicochemical properties and clinical toxicity. Comparative molecular dynamics simulation demonstrated a stable interaction of 6-SHO with NLRP3 (the key inflammasome regulator) in the explicit water environment. Overall, this study provides important cues for further development of 6-SHO as potential anti-inflammatory and anti-viral therapeutic agents.