In Silico Screening of Naturally Occurring Coumarin Derivatives for the Inhibition of the Main Protease of SARS-CoV-2

05 May 2020, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


The dissemination of a novel corona virus, SARS-CoV-2, through rapid human to human transmission has led to a global health emergency. The lack of a vaccine or medication for effective treatment of this disease has made it imperative for developing novel drug discovery approaches. Repurposing of drugs is one such method currently being used to tackle the viral infection. The genome of SARS-CoV-2 replicates due to the functioning of a main protease called Mpro. By targeting the active site of Mpro with potential inhibitors, this could prevent viral replication from taking place. Blind docking technique was used to investigate the interactions between 29 naturally occurring coumarin compounds and SARS-CoV-2 main protease, Mpro, out of which 17 coumarin compounds were seen to bind to the active site through the interaction with the catalytic dyad, His41 and Cys145, along with other neighbouring residues. On comparing the ΔG values of the coumarins bound to the active site of Mpro, corymbocoumarin belonging to the class pyranocoumarins, methylgalbanate belonging to the class simple coumarins and heraclenol belonging to the class furanocoumarins, displayed best binding efficiency and could be considered as potential Mpro protease inhibitors. Preliminary screening of these naturally occurring coumarin compounds as potential SARS-CoV-2 replication inhibitors acts as a stepping stone for further in vitro and in vivo experimental investigation and analytical validation.


molecular docking
active site
SARS-CoV-2 Mpro


Comments are not moderated before they are posted, but they can be removed by the site moderators if they are found to be in contravention of our Commenting Policy [opens in a new tab] - please read this policy before you post. Comments should be used for scholarly discussion of the content in question. You can find more information about how to use the commenting feature here [opens in a new tab] .
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy [opens in a new tab] and Terms of Service [opens in a new tab] apply.