These foods contain foods that can block a key SARS-CoV-2 enzyme needed to replicate the COVID virus.

Chemical compounds in muskadine grapes effectively inhibit an important SARS-CoV-2 protease. Credit: De-Yu Xie, NC State University

Chemical compounds in foods or beverages, such as green tea, muscadine grapes, and dark chocolate, can block and block the function of a particular enzyme or protease. SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to a new study by plant biologists North Carolina State University.

Proteins are important for the health and viability of cells and viruses, says De-Yu Xie, a professor of plant and microbial biology at NC State and the author of the study. When proteases are inhibited, cells cannot perform many important functions – such as replication.

“One of the focus of our lab is to find nutrients in food or medicinal plants that prevent a virus from binding to human cells or from spreading a virus in human cells,” he said.

In the study, NC State researchers used both computer simulations and “basic protease” (Mpro) Reacted in the SARS-CoV-2 virus when exposed to a number of different plant chemical compounds known for their strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

“Mpro SARS-CoV-2 is needed for the virus to multiply and accumulate, ”said Xie. “If we can inhibit or eliminate this protease, the virus will die.”

Green tea leaves

Green tea contains chemical compounds that effectively block an important SARS-CoV-2 enzyme. Credit: De-Yu Xie, NC State University.

Computer simulations showed that chemical compounds derived from green tea, two types of muscadine grapes, cocoa powder, and dark chocolate could bind to different parts of

“Mpro There’s a pocket-like part ‘filled’ by chemical compounds, “Xie said.” When this pocket was filled, the protease lost its important function. “

In vitro laboratory experiments completed by NC State Dr. Yue Zhu. The student in Xie’s lab showed similar results. Chemical compounds in green tea and muskadine grapes have been very successful in inhibiting M.profunction; reduced chemical compounds in cocoa powder and dark chocolate Mpro about half of the activity.

“Green tea M has five tested chemical compounds that stick to different areas in your, is actually too big to interfere with function, ”Xie said. “Muscadine grapes contain these inhibitory chemicals in their skins and seeds. Plants use these compounds to protect themselves, so it is not surprising that these beneficial compounds are present in the leaves and skin of plants. ”

The paper appears Boundaries in Plant Science. Zhu is the first author of the newspaper. The study was supported by the US Department of Agriculture.

Reference: “Placement Features and in vitro Inhibitory Activity of Flavan-3-ols and Dimeric Proanthocyanidins Against Basic Protease Activity of SARS-Cov-2 by Yue Zhu and De-Yu Xie, 30 November 2020, Boundaries in Plant Science.
DOI: 10.3389 / fpls.2020.601316

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