Pharmacoinformatics-based identification of transmembrane protease serine-2 inhibitors from Morus Alba as SARS-CoV-2 cell entry inhibitors

Anshul Shakya, Rupesh V. Chikhale, Hans Raj Bhat, Fatmah Ali Alasmary, Tahani Mazyad Almutairi, Surajit Kumar Ghosh, Hassna Mohammed Alhajri, Siham A. Alissa, Shuchi Nagar, Md Ataul Islam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Abstract: Transmembrane protease serine-2 (TMPRSS2) is a cell-surface protein expressed by epithelial cells of specific tissues including those in the aerodigestive tract. It helps the entry of novel coronavirus (n-CoV) or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in the host cell. Successful inhibition of the TMPRSS2 can be one of the crucial strategies to stop the SARS-CoV-2 infection. In the present study, a set of bioactive molecules from Morus alba Linn. were screened against the TMPRSS2 through two widely used molecular docking engines such as Autodock vina and Glide. Molecules having a higher binding affinity toward the TMPRSS2 compared to Camostat and Ambroxol were considered for in-silico pharmacokinetic analyses. Based on acceptable pharmacokinetic parameters and drug-likeness, finally, five molecules were found to be important for the TMPRSS2 inhibition. A number of bonding interactions in terms of hydrogen bond and hydrophobic interactions were observed between the proposed molecules and ligand-interacting amino acids of the TMPRSS2. The dynamic behavior and stability of best-docked complex between TRMPRSS2 and proposed molecules were assessed through molecular dynamics (MD) simulation. Several parameters from MD simulation have suggested the stability between the protein and ligands. Binding free energy of each molecule calculated through MM-GBSA approach from the MD simulation trajectory suggested strong affection toward the TMPRSS2. Hence, proposed molecules might be crucial chemical components for the TMPRSS2 inhibition. Graphic abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-278
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Diversity
Early online date30 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Molecular docking
  • Morus alba Linn
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Virtual screening

Cite this