Inhibitory Effects and Surface Plasmon Resonance-Based Binding Affinities of Dietary Hydrolyzable Tannins and Their Gut Microbial Metabolites on SARS-CoV-2 Main Protease

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Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) main protease (Mpro) inhibitors are considered as potential treatments for coronavirus disease 2019, and dietary polyphenols show promise in SARS-CoV-2 Mpro inhibition based on in silico studies. In the present study, we utilize a combination of biochemical-, surface plasmon resonance-, and docking-based assays to evaluate the inhibition and binding affinities of a series of tannins and their gut microbial metabolites on SARS-CoV-2 Mpro. The tested compounds (2-50 μM) were hydrolyzable tannins, including ellagitannins (punicalagin and ellagic acid) and gallotannins (tannic acid, pentagalloyl glucose, ginnalin A, and gallic acid), and their gut microbial metabolites, urolithins and pyrogallol, respectively. They inhibited SARS-CoV-2 Mpro (by 6.6-100.0% at 50 μM) and bound directly to the Mpro protein (with dissociation constants from 1.1 × 10-6 to 5.3 × 10-5 M). This study sheds light on the inhibitory effects of tannins and their metabolites on SARS-CoV-2 Mpro.

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Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry