Vitamin B12 Against SARS-Cov-2 virus

Vitamin B12 Against SARS-Cov-2 virus: DBT-RCB Study Finds

Scientists from the Regional Centre for Biotechnology (RCB), established by the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) have identified vital information about the COVID-19 causing SARS‐CoV‐2 virus. At the laboratory of Prof. Deepak Nair at RCB, a computational study has indicated that Vitamin B 12 could be useful against the SARS‐CoV‐2 virus.

Belonging to the family of Coronaviridae, the COVID-19 causing virus has a positive-sense RNA genome, similar to the other viruses of this family. In the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the genome encodes for the protein that houses the RdRP (RNA‐dependent‐RNA polymerase) activity responsible for the viral genome’s replication, the nsp12 protein.

The methods used by researchers in this study includes the homology model of nsp12 and model of the functional ternary complex, in silico screening, Minimization, molecular dynamics, and calculation of binding energies, and Analysis using CONTACT (CCP4: Supported Program).


Using the SARS nsp12 structure (6NUR), a homology model of nsp12 was developed. In order to identify molecules that can potentially spot the activity of nsp12, in silico screening of several natural products, and FDA-approved drugs were carried out using this model. Through this, it was seen that vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) could

be able to bind to nsp12 protein’s active site.

It was observed that the vitamin B12 binding site overlaps with that of the incoming nucleotide in the model of nsp12 in complex with incoming NTP and substrate RNA. It was suggested that the vitamin may bind to the active site of nsp12 with significant affinity through a comparison of the calculated energies of binding for RNA plus NTP and methylcobalamin. Thus, it is noted that the RdRP activity of nsp12 can be inhibited as it possible that methylcobalamin binding could avert the association with RNA and NTP.

On the whole, it can be concluded from these computational studies that an effective inhibitor of the nsp12 protein could be the methylcobalamin form of vitamin B12.

In the journal IUBMB Life, this research article has been published.

Vitamin B12 Against SARS-Cov-2 virus: DBT-RCB Study Finds


  1. People on a whole-food vegan diet are more likely to develop B12 deficiency. Are they at higher risk of contracting COVID-19?

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