Moroccan medicinal plants against COVID-19



J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 10(2): 227-238, 2022.

Original Article

Molecular docking study of the main phytochemicals of some medicinal plants used against COVID-19 by the rural population of Al-Haouz region, Morocco

[Estudio de acoplamiento molecular de los principales fitoquímicos de algunas plantas medicinales utilizadas contra el COVID-19 por la población rural de la región de Al-Haouz, Marruecos]

Ridwane Ghanimi1*, Ahmed Ouhammou2, Yassine El Atki3, Mohamed Cherkaoui1

1Laboratory of Pharmacology, Neurobiology, Anthropobiology, Environment and Behaviour, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences Semlalia, Cadi Ayyad University, Marrakech, BP 2390, 40000, Morocco.

2Laboratory of Microbial Biotechnologies, Agrosciences and Environment (BioMAgE), Agrosciences, Phytobiodiversity and Environment Team, Regional Herbarium ‘MARK’, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences Semlalia , Cadi Ayyad University, PO. Box 2390, Marrakech, 400001, Morocco.

3Laboratory of Physiology Pharmacology and Environmental Health, Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences Dhar Mehraz,Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez, Morocco.

*E-mail: ghanimiridwane@gmail.com, ridwane.ghanimi@ced.uca.ma

Abstract

Context: The infection by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a global health emergency. The management of this crisis requires the discovery of new drugs able to cure or reduce the severity of SARS-CoV-2.

Aims: To explore the medicinal plants consumed by the rural population of Al-Haouz region against the emergence of the COVID-19, and to assess in silico the main phytochemicals present in the essential oils and the extracts of these medicinal plants, as potential inhibitors of the COVID-19 main protease (Mpro).

Methods: The survey was conducted through a semi-structured questionnaire among 85 respondents aged 30 years and above, in the Al-Haouz region, Morocco. AutoDock Vina, was used to assess the binding affinity of the phytochemicals to the Mpro.

Results: Eleven wild medicinal species were cited; 10 belonging to the Lamiaceae family and one to the Compositae family. Thymus saturejoides Coss., Artemisia herba-alba Asso.and Mentha suaveolens Ehrh. were respectively the three most cited species during the survey. The rosmarinic acid (-7.7 kcal/mol), hesperetin (-7.2 kcal/mol), gallocatechin (-7.2 kcal/mol) and cyasterone (-7.2 kcal/mol) have shown the higher inhibitory potential against covid-19 Mpro respectively.

Conclusions: In addition to their different recognized biological activities, the medicinal plants used in the Al-Haouz region have shown good inhibitory potential against SARAS-CoV-2 Mpro. Furthermore, the phytochemicals that exhibited the highest inhibitory potentials in this virtual study require further investigation in vitro and in vivo.

Keywords: COVID-19; ethnomedicine; medicinal plants; molecular docking; Morocco; SARS-CoV-2.

Resumen

Contexto: La infección por el coronavirus 2 del síndrome respiratorio agudo severo (SARS-CoV-2) es una emergencia sanitaria mundial. El manejo de esta crisis requiere el descubrimiento de nuevos medicamentos capaces de curar o reducir la gravedad del SARS-CoV-2.

Objetivos: Explorar las plantas medicinales consumidas por la población rural de la región de Al-Haouz frente a la aparición del COVID-19, y evaluar in silico los principales fitoquímicos presentes en los aceites esenciales y los extractos de estas plantas medicinales, como potenciales inhibidores. de la proteasa principal COVID-19 (Mpro).

Métodos: La encuesta se realizó a través de un cuestionario semiestructurado entre 85 encuestados de 30 años o más, en la región de Al-haouz, Marruecos. Se utilizó AutoDock Vina para evaluar la afinidad de unión de los fitoquímicos al Mpro.

Resultados: Se citaron once especies medicinales silvestres; 10 pertenecientes a la familia Lamiaceae y una a la familia Compositae. Thymus saturejoides Coss., Artemisia herba-alba Asso. y Mentha suaveolens Ehrh. fueron, respectivamente, las tres especies más citadas durante la encuesta. El ácido rosmarínico (-7,7 kcal/mol), la hesperetina (-7,2 kcal/mol), la galocatequina (-7,2 kcal/mol) y la ciasterona (-7,2 kcal/mol) han mostrado el mayor potencial inhibitorio frente al covid-19 Mpro, respectivamente.

Conclusiones: Además de sus diferentes actividades biológicas reconocidas, las plantas medicinales utilizadas en la región de Al-Haouz han mostrado un buen potencial inhibitorio contra SARAS-CoV-2 Mpro. Además, los fitoquímicos que exhibieron los potenciales inhibidores más altos en este estudio virtual requieren más investigación in vitro e in vivo.

Palabras Clave: acoplamiento molecular; COVID-19; etnomedicina; Marruecos; plantas medicinales; SARS-CoV-2.

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Citation Format: Ghanimi R, Ouhammou A, El Atki Y, Cherkaoui M (2022) Molecular docking study of the main phytochemicals of some medicinal plants used against COVID-19 by the rural population of Al-Haouz region, Morocco. J Pharm Pharmacogn Res 10(2): 227–238.

© 2022 Journal of Pharmacy & Pharmacognosy Research (JPPRes)