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Pharmacological Profile of Nigella sativa Seeds in Combating COVID-19 through In-Vitro and Molecular Docking Studies

Sherwani et al., Processes, doi:10.3390/pr10071346
Jul 2022  
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In Vitro study of nigella sativa's effect on oxidative stress, hemolysis, proteolysis, and glycation, and In Silico study for SARS-CoV-2 antiviral potential, suggesting beneficial effects for COVID-19.
Sherwani et al., 11 Jul 2022, peer-reviewed, 8 authors.
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In Vitro studies are an important part of preclinical research, however results may be very different in vivo.
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Pharmacological Profile of Nigella sativa Seeds in Combating COVID-19 through In-Vitro and Molecular Docking Studies
Subuhi Sherwani, Saravanan Rajendrasozhan, Mohd Wajid Ali Khan, Mohd Saleem, Mahvish Khan, Saif Khan, Mohamed Raafat, Fatimah Othman Alqahtani
Processes, doi:10.3390/pr10071346
COVID-19 infection is associated with elevated oxidative stress, systemic hyper-inflammatory responses, endothelial dysfunction, and red blood cell membrane deformability. Nigella sativa extract is widely used in alternative and complementary medicine systems in a large population, due to its highly therapeutic, economic, natural, and safe nature. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of N. sativa extract on oxidative stress, hemolysis, proteolysis, and glycation through in vitro studies, as well as to find out its anti-viral potential against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) using in silico studies. N. sativa seed extract (at 600 µg/mL) displayed 67.33% scavenging activity in the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) test, and 70.28% hydrogen peroxide reducing activity. N. sativa exhibited anti-proteolytic activity by decreasing heat-induced denaturation of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and egg albumin by 63.14% and 57.95%, respectively, and exhibited anti-proteinase potential of 66.28% at 600 µg/mL. In addition, heat-induced hemolysis and hypersalinity-induced hemolysis were inhibited by 57.86% and 61.7%, respectively, by the N. sativa seeds. N. sativa also inhibited browning intensity by 56.38%, and percent aggregation index by 51.38%, amyloid structure by 48.28%, and AGE-specific fluorescence by 52.18%, thereby protecting the native structure of BSA from glycation. The binding interactions between bioactive molecules of N. sativa seed with SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein were proven by using in silico molecular docking tools. The functional amino acids involved in the interactions are Asp467, Thr108, Thr114, Ile468, Asn234, Gln155, Glu465, Arg466, Gly232, and Ile233, indicating the inhibiting property of N. sativa on SARS-CoV-2. Finally, we may infer that phytoconstituents of N. sativa seeds have the potential to protect against the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2. Studies on N. sativa seeds might act as a path to develop a potent alternative therapy against viral infections, especially COVID-19 infection, in the future. However, the limitations linked with the use of natural products are also needed to be considered in this regard.
Author Contributions: Conceptualization, S.S., M.W.A.K.; methodology, S.S., S.R., M.W.A.K., M.S., S.K.; formal analysis, S.S., M.K., S.K., M.W.A.K., F.O.A.; investigation, S.S., S.R., M.W.A.K.; resources, S.S., M.W.A.K., M.S.; data curation, S.S., M.W.A.K., M.R., S.K.; writing-original draft preparation, S.S., M.W.A.K.; writing-review and editing, S.R., M.R., M.K., S.K., F.O.A.; supervision, S.S.; funding acquisition, S.S. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript. Ethics Committee (REC) at the University of Hail dated: 12/04/2021 and approved by university president letter number 42/5/44372 dated 12/04/2021. Informed Consent Statement: Written informed consent was obtained from participants to participate in the study.
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