Disclaimer: We may earn a commission if you make any purchase by clicking our links. Please see our detailed guide here.

Follow us on:

Natural Food-preservative Molecule May Prevent Coronavirus From Binding to Cells

Join the Opinion Leaders Network

Join the Techgenyz Opinion Leaders Network today and become part of a vibrant community of change-makers. Together, we can create a brighter future by shaping opinions, driving conversations, and transforming ideas into reality.

Using computer simulation, Indian scientists have found that a natural food-preservative molecule has the potential to bind strongly to the protein which the novel coronavirus uses to enter human cells and may prevent infection.

The study, published in the journal Virology, noted that a food-grade antibacterial small protein (peptide) called nisin, which is used globally as a safe and natural food-preservative, has the potential to bind to the ACE2 receptor in humans (hACE2) which the coronavirus uses to enter and infect cells.

The peptide nisin has the potential to bind to the human ACE2 receptor with higher efficiency than the spike protein of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2,- study co-author Swadesh Ranjan Biswas from Visva-Bharati University in Kolkata told PTI.

Based on the findings, the scientists believe the peptide can potentially eliminate the interaction of the spike protein of the novel coronavirus with the human ACE2 receptor, and thereby control infection.

“Compared to the Receptor Binding Domain (RBD) of viral spike protein, nisin binds with the hACE2 receptor with higher affinity,” the researchers wrote in the study.

Commenting on the findings, Vigneshwar Ramakrishnan, professor of Bioinformatics at SASTRA University in Tamil Nadu, who was unrelated to the study, said “it is interesting and exciting to note that the food preservative nisin has the potential to bind to hACE2 receptor, and can competitively inhibit the binding of the RBD of the SARS-CoV-2.”

Repurposing existing drugs against diseases has garnered the attention of the scientific community for obvious reasons. However, as the authors note as well, several experimental studies need to be performed to confirm, in addition to strategizing doses and routes of administration,” Ramakrishnan told PTI.

In the research, Biswas and his team found that a unique culture of the bacterium Lactococcus lactis, widely used for cheese manufacturing, is capable of converting milk to curd and nisin.

Since nisin is a heat-stable natural food-grade peptide, Biswas believes it can be produced cost-effectively, even in large quantities using microbial fermentation.

The researchers added that the peptide can also be stored and transported without microbial contamination since nisin has a strong antimicrobial action.

However, the scientists said more experiments are needed to determine its doses and application mechanism to check the competition of nisin and the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 for accessing the ACE2 receptor in human cells.

The work encourages further research to take a similar approach in order to find other food peptides and food-grade natural small molecules for blocking the human ACE2 receptor,” Biswas added.

Partner With Us

Digital advertising offers a way for your business to reach out and make much-needed connections with your audience in a meaningful way. Advertising on Techgenyz will help you build brand awareness, increase website traffic, generate qualified leads, and grow your business.

Join 10,000+ Fellow Readers

Get Techgenyz’s roundup delivered to your inbox curated with the most important for you that keeps you updated about the future tech, mobile, space, gaming, business and more.


Find Apps

The Ultimate Hub for Discovering Apps Unlock a world of apps: your ultimate hub for exploring and discovering limitless possibilities for on your every needs.

Power Your Business

Solutions you need to super charge your business and drive growth

More from this topic