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Carvacrol: A PLpro Inhibitor of SARS-CoV-2 is a Natural Weapon for COVID-19
* 1 , 2 , 3
1  Maharaja Bir Bikram College, Agartala, Tripura-799004, India
2  Department of Forestry and Biodiversity, Tripura University, Suryamaninagar, Tripura, 799022, India
3  Department of Chemistry, Netaji Subhas Mahavidyalaya, Udaipur, Tripura, 799114, India
Academic Editor: Julio A. Seijas


The outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 creates the biggest crisis to human health and adversely affects the economic growth worldwide. Recently, several vaccines have been emerged by the manufacturers to combat COVID-19. Unfortunately, no therapeutic medication has yet been approved by FDA for the treatment of this disease. In this aspect, several research groups have paid attention to find out the potential SARS-CoV-2 protein inhibitors from the bio-molecules available in medicinal plants, spices, and vegetables. In this paper, we have performed the structure-based virtual screening (VS) of 120 compounds derived from Nigella sativa (NS) against Mpro, PLpro and Spike proteins of SARS-CoV-2. Strong binding interactions of Mpro occurred with hits NS-40, and NS-84 whereas hits NS-72D and NS-95D showed strong binding interaction with Spike protein. Interestingly, four promising hits namely NS-21, NS-40, carvacrol and menthol exhibited good binding interactions with both Mpro and Spike proteins. It was observed that carvacrol, a monoterpenoid phenol exhibited several biological activities, has favourable binding affinity towards papain-like protease of SARS-CoV-2. This small molecule may be used as a natural weapon to combat the COVID-19.

Keywords: Carvacrol; Black seed; SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19; Natural product.