Targeting CoV-2 spike RBD and ACE-2 interaction with flavonoids of Anatolian propolis by in silico and in vitro studies in terms of possible COVID-19 therapeutics

Güler H. İ. , Sal F., Can Z., Kara Y., Yıldız O., Beldüz A. O. , ...More

TURKISH JOURNAL OF BIOLOGY, vol.45, no.4, pp.530-548, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3906/biy-2104-5
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.530-548
  • Keywords: Propolis, Covid-19, SARS-CoV-2, pinocembrin, molecular docking, ANTIOXIDANT ACTIVITY, PHENOLIC COMPOSITION, HONEY


Propolis is a multi-functional bee product rich in polyphenols. In this study, the inhibitory effect of Anatolian propolis against SARS-coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) was investigated in vitro and in silico. Raw and commercial propolis samples were used, and both samples were found to be rich in caffeic acid, p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, t-cinnamic acid, hesperetin, chrysin, pinocembrin, and caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) at HPLC-UV analysis. Ethanolic propolis extracts (EPE) were used in the ELISA screening test against the spike S1 protein (SARS-CoV-2): ACE-2 interaction for in vitro study. The binding energy values of these polyphenols to the SARS-CoV-2 spike and ACE-2 protein were calculated separately with a molecular docking study using the AutoDock 4.2.6 program. In addition, the pharmacokinetics and drug-likeness properties of these eight polyphenols were calculated according to the SwissADME tool. The binding energy value of pinocembrin was highest in both receptors, followed by chrysin, CAPE, and hesperetin. Based on the in silico modeling and ADME (absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion) behaviors of the eight polyphenols, the compounds exhibited the potential ability to act effectively as novel drugs. The findings of both studies showed that propolis has a high inhibitory potential against the Covid-19 virus. However, further studies are now needed.