Dr. Ian Edwin Cock1,2,*
1School of Natural Sciences, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, AUSTRALIA.
2Environmental Futures Research Institute, Nathan Campus, Griffith University, 170 Kessels Rd, Nathan, Brisbane, Queensland 4111, AUSTRALIA.
Published: January 2021
Type: The Janus Corner
The SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the current COVID-19 pandemic is an enveloped RNA virus that has been the focus of much research in the last year. Whilst the majority of efforts to combat this pandemic have focussed on the development of an effective vaccine, other researchers have turned to pharmacognosy in an effort to discover effective treatments. A recent study from the Department of Pharmacognosy at University of Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina has highlighted the potential of Punica granatum L. (commonly known as pomegranate) peel extracts in preventing SARS-CoV-2 infections.1 Punica granatum peel contains substantial levels of hydrolysable tannins including gallic acid, ellagic acid, punicalagin and punicalin, as well as notable flavonoids and anthocyanins, with reported therapeutic properties. Notably, P. granatum extracts have previously been reported to inhibit infections in humans of influenza virus, herpes virus, poxviruses and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The researchers of this study screened P. granatum extracts and pure tannins against four protein targets that facilitate SARS-CoV-2 entry into howst cells (SARS-CoV-s spike glycoprotein, angiotensinconverting enzyme-2, furin and transmembrane serine protease 2). Of the tested compounds, punicalagin and punicalin displayed noteworthy interactions with the selected proteins. Whether this translates to decreased infection rates in vivo is yet to be determined. Read more…