Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Citrus Fruits Are Rich in Flavonoids for Immunoregulation and Potential Targeting ACE2

Version 1 : Received: 22 February 2020 / Approved: 23 February 2020 / Online: 23 February 2020 (09:49:10 CET)

How to cite: Cheng, L.; Zheng, W.; Li, M.; Huang, J.; Bao, S.; Xu, Q.; Ma, Z. Citrus Fruits Are Rich in Flavonoids for Immunoregulation and Potential Targeting ACE2. Preprints 2020, 2020020313 Cheng, L.; Zheng, W.; Li, M.; Huang, J.; Bao, S.; Xu, Q.; Ma, Z. Citrus Fruits Are Rich in Flavonoids for Immunoregulation and Potential Targeting ACE2. Preprints 2020, 2020020313

Abstract

The most recent outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus, named as COVID-19, caused pneumonia epidemic in Wuhan with 2,121 deaths cases as of February 20th 2020. Identification of effective antiviral agents to combat the novel coronavirus is urgently needed. Citrus fruit peel or wild citrus are rich in flavonoid, and is clinically documented for roles in relief of cough and promotion of digestive health. Therefore, citrus fruits are assumed to possess antivirus activities or enhance the host immunity. A previous study found that hesperetin could act as a high potent inhibitor of SARS-CoV 3CLpro. We determined six flavonoid compounds content of in three citrus species by using LC-MS technique. The content of naringin and naringenin was at higher levels in pummelo. Hesperetin and hesperidin were highly accumulated in mandarin and sweet orange. The subsequent in vitro and in vivo experiments indicated that naringin could inhibit the expression of the proinflammatory cytokines (COX-2, iNOS, IL-1β and IL-6) induced by LPS in Raw macrophage cell line, and may restrain cytokine through inhibiting HMGB1 expression in a mouse model. The results revealed that naringin may have a potential application for preventing cytokine storm. We simulated molecular docking to predict the binding affinity of those flavonoids to bind Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE 2), which is a receptor of the coronavirus. Consideration of the potential anti-coronavirus and anti-inflammatory activity of flavonoids, the citrus fruit or its derived phytochemicals are promising in the use of prevention and treatment of 2019-nCoV infection.

Subject Areas

citrus flavnoids; naringin; immunoregulation; ACE2; 2019-nCoV

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