potential biomolecule to prevent COVID-19
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DBT-IBSD research discovers a potential biomolecule to prevent COVID-19

The diverse advantages of traditional fermented food with lactic acid bacteria on humans has become quite famous. These beneficial microbes and their bioactive metabolites can have a favorable impact on health through various mechanisms. These advantages include antimicrobial, antioxidant, anticancer, antihypertensive, immunomodulatory, and a lot more. Few of these advantages are due to bioactive peptides produced during fermentation on hydrolysis of food proteins.

Researchers from DBT-IBSD (Institute of Bioresources and Sustainable Development)
regional center at Sikkim researched on peptides derived from cheese produced from soya milk utilizing a lactic acid bacteria called Lactobacillus delbrueckii WS4. The study led to the discovery of a prospective bioactive peptide that can inhibit vital receptors of SARS-CoV-2. The bacteria were isolated from chhurpi, a conventional fermented milk product commonly consumed in the Sikkim Himalayan region.

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The researchers studied over 1,400 peptides developed during soy milk fermentation for their binding affinity to 2 significant drug targets of SARS-CoV-2: Spike glycoprotein (S1) and Main protease (3CLpro). A peptide having amino acid sequence KFVPKQPNMIL was identified to be potential in binding with the vital S1 receptor-binding domain (RBD) and to the active site amino acids of 3CLpro.

Additionally, the peptide revealed to have a considerable affinity towards the RBD and 3CLpro of other coronaviruses like SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and HCoV-HKU1. The outcomes recommend that the soy cheese produced using Lactobacillus delbrueckii WS4 could be utilized as a prophylactic against SARS-CoV-2 and other similar viral infections.

There is a diversity of food culture in North East India, including fermented and non-fermented ethnic foods which could be explored for the discovery as well as analysis of possible bioactive peptides towards the advancement of peptide-based therapies to fight arising transmittable diseases. The application of particular strains from conventional fermented foods can lead to the development of functional foods with distinct bioactive peptides. The result of the study is published in “Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences”.


DBT-IBSD research discovers a potential biomolecule to prevent COVID-19