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Potentiality of Amburana cearensis twig extracts for the treatment of COVID-19: chemistry and docking studies

Grant number: 20/14279-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Chemistry - Organic Chemistry
Principal researcher:Miriam Sannomiya
Grantee:Eliron Maia Souto Neto
Home Institution: Escola de Artes, Ciências e Humanidades (EACH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

COVID-19 is a viral disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, capable of causing several respiratory problems in its hosts, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), in addition to being highly transmissible, which caused the occurrence of a pandemic. This is a recent event, so there are no drugs proven effective against the disease, as well as vaccines, which justifies the need to search for effective extracts and / or compounds against it and its symptoms. In this way, natural products are presented as interesting alternatives due to their growing prominence in the pharmaceutical industry, in addition to their possible activities against the virus, e.g. flavonoids, steroids and phenols, which through molecular docking studies can have their interactions with SARS-CoV-2 proteins predicted and identified.Amburana cearensis is a plant native to the Caatinga belonging to the Fabaceae family, rich in coumarins, flavonoids, phenols, steroids, amburosides, among others. The bark of its stem has bronchodilating, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, due to compounds such as the flavonoid isokaempferide, with proven cytotoxic and bronchodilator activity. Thus suggesting that it is a potential species for treatment after SARS-CoV-2 contamination, minimizing its possible respiratory severities. However, there are no chemical studies involving the twigs of this species, which would be much less harmful to the studied specimen than in the case of the stem bark. In this sense, the present project aims to study the chemistry of the twigs in order to isolate compounds, as well as to evaluate their potential against COVID-19 by carrying out molecular docking experiments to verify the coupling of these compounds to the virus Mpro enzyme, that if proven, can help in the treatment of the disease. (AU)

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