Appraisal of bioactive compounds of betel fruit as antimalarial agents by targeting plasmepsin 1 and 2: A computational approach

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Fatimawali F., Tallei T. E., Kepel B. J., Alorabi M., El-Shehawi A. M., Bodhi W., ...More

Pharmaceuticals, vol.14, no.12, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 12
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/ph14121285
  • Journal Name: Pharmaceuticals
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: Piper betle, betel fruit, malaria, in silico, protease inhibitor, plasmepsin, PIPER-BETLE L., IN-SILICO, TOXICITY, LEAF
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.In many countries, the fruit of betel (Piper betle Linn) is traditionally used as medicine for treating malaria. It is a fatal disease, and existing medications are rapidly losing potency, necessitating the development of innovative pharmaceutics. The current study attempted to determine the compounds in the n-hexane fraction of betel fruit extract and investigate the potential inhibition of bioactive compounds against aspartic protease plasmepsin 1 (PDB ID: 3QS1) and plasmepsin 2 (PDB ID: 1LEE) of Plasmodium falciparum using a computational approach. The ethanol extract was fractionated into n-hexane and further analyzed using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) to obtain information regarding the compounds contained in betel fruit. Each compound’s potential antimalarial activity was evaluated using AutoDock Vina and compared to artemisinin, an antimalarial drug. Molecular dynamics simulations (MDSs) were performed to evaluate the stability of the interaction between the ligand and receptors. Results detected 20 probable compounds in the n-hexane extract of betel fruit based on GC-MS analysis. The docking study revealed that androstan-17-one,3-ethyl-3-hydroxy-, (5 alpha)-has the highest binding affinity for plasmepsin 1 and plasmepsin 2. The compound exhibits a similar interaction with artemisinin at the active site of the receptors. The compound does not violate Lipinski’s rules of five. It belongs to class 5 toxicity with an LD50 of 3000 mg/kg. MDS results showed stable interactions between the compound and the receptors. Our study concluded that androstan-17-one,3-ethyl-3-hydroxy-, (5 alpha)-from betel fruit has the potential to be further investigated as a potential inhibitor of the aspartic protease plasmepsin 1 and plasmepsin 2 of Plasmodium falciparum.