Du, A.; Zheng, R.; Disoma, C.; Li, S.; Chen, Z.; Liu, P.; Zhou, Y.; Shen, Y.; Liu, S.; Zhang, Y.; Dong, Z.; Yang, Q.; Alsaadawe, M.; Razzaq, A.; Peng, Y.; Chen, X.; Hu, L.; Peng, J.; Zhang, Q.; Jiang, T.; Mo, L.; Xia, Z., Epigallocatechin-3-gallate, an active ingredient of Traditional Chinese Medicines, inhibits the 3CLpro activity of SARS-CoV-2. Int J Biol Macromol 2021, 176, 1-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2021.02.012
Interaction Type: Protein-small molecule
Abstract: SARS-CoV-2 is the etiological agent responsible for the ongoing pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The main protease of SARS-CoV-2, 3CLpro, is an attractive target for antiviral inhibitors due to its indispensable role in viral replication and gene expression of viral proteins. The search of compounds that can effectively inhibit the crucial activity of 3CLpro, which results to interference of the virus life cycle, is now widely pursued. Here, we report that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), an active ingredient of Chinese herbal medicine (CHM), is a potent inhibitor of 3CLpro with half-maximum inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 0.874 ± 0.005 μM. In the study, we retrospectively analyzed the clinical data of 123 cases of COVID-19 patients, and found three effective Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM) prescriptions. Multiple strategies were performed to screen potent inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro from the active ingredients of TCMs, including network pharmacology, molecular docking, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) binding assay and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET)-based inhibition assay. The SPR assay showed good interaction between EGCG and 3CLpro with KD ~6.17 μM, suggesting a relatively high affinity of EGCG with SARS-CoV-2 3CLpro. Our results provide critical insights into the mechanism of action of EGCG as a potential therapeutic agent against COVID-19.