Enter Flavonoids

How a novel approach to discovering and trialing plant-based antivirals is being attempted in Kenya to fight the pandemic

vImportant sources of key flavonoids — Citrus × sinensis (sweet orange), mangifera indica (common mango), menthe piperita (common peppermint)

What is a flavonoid?

From Ali et al 2019 (CC by 4.0)
flavone backbone structure [image: public domain]
The hesperidin molecule [image: public domain]

What could *flavonoids* have to do with COVID-19?

  1. flavonoids, (which come from land-based plants), and
  2. phlorotannins (which come from sea plants / brown algae — i.e. seaweed )

Our in silico findings

projected IC50 concentration of 295 primarily plant-derived compounds (units: micromolar; source: EMSKE Phytochem)
projected IC50 concentration — top inhibiting compounds
top view of hesperidin binding within the COVID-19 virus’ Main Protease— tunnel (invisible) runs left-to-right; Can you see the hesperidin structure (in yellow) matching the chemical diagram above? [product credit: PyMol]
Front view of hesperidin binding in Main Protease (tunnel seen head-on in progressive un-cutaway shots). Can you see just the edge of the bright yellow hesperidin molecule inside the tunnel? [product credit: PyMol]

Where are we sourcing these compounds from?

Mango seed kernel — [credit: WalterReeves.com]
[from: Abdel-Aty et al 2018]
[from: Chashitsu LaSere CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]
[from: Srok et al 2014]

Are there other viable sources?

What’s the catch?

Source: FDA.gov

What’s next?

[Licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 from GSK]



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EMSKE Phytochem

Coming from a multidisciplinary technical background in Silicon Valley, SE Asia, & East Africa, the author builds awareness of plant medicines. Tw: @EMSKEPhyto