Scientists at the University of Swansea in the United Kingdom have discovered a substance in green tea that could potentially be useful in the fight against COVID-19. The study, published in the journal RSC Advances, is summarized in a press release on MedicalXpress.
Experts analyzed the structure of various phytochemicals to identify those that could suppress SARS-CoV-2 infection by acting on certain components of the virus. A total of 132 substances were selected and tested for their interaction with the main protease (Mpro) of the coronavirus. It turned out that two of them – cinnamatannin-B and gallocatechin gallate – were the phytocompounds most effective in blocking Mpro.
According to the rule of five (also called Lipinski’s rule), a compound must have a number of molecular properties that make it suitable for oral administration, such as having no more than five donor hydrogen bonds or no more than ten acceptor hydrogen bonds. Since gallocatechin gallate complies with the rule of five, the compound itself and its analogues were taken for further analysis.
The gallocatechin analog (2R, 3R)-2-(3,4-dihydroxyphenyl) chroman-3-yl-3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoate successfully inhibited several SARS-CoV-2 targets, including RNA-dependent RNA polymerase.
According to the scientists, further studies are needed to show whether gallocatechin is clinically effective and safe to prevent or treat COVID-19.