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New Acaciin-Loaded Self-Assembled Nanofibers as MPro Inhibitors Against BCV as a Surrogate Model for SARS-CoV-2

Authors Mohamad SA, Zahran EM, Abdel Fadeel MR, Albohy A, Safwat MA

Received 29 December 2020

Accepted for publication 16 February 2021

Published 2 March 2021 Volume 2021:16 Pages 1789—1804


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Thomas J. Webster

Soad A Mohamad,1,* Eman Maher Zahran,2,* Maha Raafat Abdel Fadeel,3 Amgad Albohy,4 Mohamed A Safwat5

1Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, Deraya University, Universities Zone, New Minia City, 61111, Egypt; 2Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Deraya University, Universities Zone, New Minia City, 61111, Egypt; 3Veterinary Serum and Vaccine Research Institute (VSVRI), Cairo, Egypt; 4Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Faculty of Pharmacy, The British University in Egypt (BUE), El-Sherouk City, 1837, Egypt; 5Department of Pharmaceutics, Faculty of Pharmacy, South Valley University, Qena, 83523, Egypt

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Eman Maher Zahran
Deraya University, Universities Zone, New Minia City, 61111, Egypt
Email [email protected]

Background: SARS-COVID-2 has recently been one of the most life-threatening problems which urgently needs new therapeutic antiviral agents, especially those of herbal origin.
Purpose: The study aimed to load acaciin (ACA) into the new self-assembled nanofibers (NFs) followed by investigating their possible antiviral effect against bovine coronavirus (BCV) as a surrogate model for SARS-COV-2.
Methods: ACA was identified using 1H-NMR and DEPT-Q 13C-NMR spectroscopy, the molecular docking study was performed using Autodock 4 and a modification of the traditional solvent injection method was applied for the synthesis of the biodegradable NFs. Different characterization techniques were used to inspect the formation of the NFs, which is followed by antiviral investigation against BCV as well as MTT assay using MDBK cells.
Results: Core/shell NFs, ranging between 80– 330 nm with tiny thorn-like branches, were formed which attained an enhanced encapsulation efficiency (97.5 ± 0.53%, P< 0.05) and a dual controlled release (a burst release of 65% at 1 h and a sustained release up to > 24 h). The antiviral investigation of the formed NFs revealed a significant inhibition of 98.88 ± 0.16% (P< 0.05) with IC50 of 12.6 μM against BCV cells.
Conclusion: The results introduced a new, time/cost-saving strategy for the synthesis of biodegradable NFs without the need for electric current or hazardous cross-linking agents. Moreover, it provided an innovative avenue for the discovery of drugs of herbal origin for the fight against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Keywords: acaciin, molecular docking, nanofibers, core-shell, BCV/SARS-COV-2

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