Bioactive metabolites of licorice and thyme as potential inhibitors of Cox1 enzyme of phytopathogens of Capsicum annuum L. In-silico approaches

Himanshu Arora, Gourav Choudhir, Arunava Sengupta, Abhishek Sharma, Satyawati Sharma

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1 Scopus citations


Cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (Cox1), a key enzyme, has a crucial role in cellular respiration in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Generally, respiratory inhibitors are considered one of the types of chemical pesticides. Thyme oil and licorice aqueous extract have been reported to have antifungal activities against fungal phytopathogens of Capsicum annuum L., i.e., Colletotrichum capsici, Fusarium oxysporum, and Pythium aphanidermatum. The present study focuses on identifying the key bioactive molecules of thyme and licorice botanicals inhibiting the activity of the Cox1 enzymes of the above mentioned phytopathogens, employing the in-silico approach. From a wide range of bioactive molecules screened, the molecular docking indicated trans-carveol, carvacrol, kaempferol 3-rhamnoside 7-xyloside, kaempferitrin, and astragalin 7-rhamnoside as the potential inhibitors for Cox1 of C. capsici, β-Caryophyllene, Caryophyllene acetate, hispaglabridin A, kaempferol 3-rhamnoside 7-xyloside and licorice glycoside A for Cox1 of F. oxysporum and (+)-Longifolen, Caryophyllene acetate, Hispaglabridin A, Neoliquiritin 2''-apioside and Licorice-saponin A3 for Cox1 of P. aphanidermatum. Most of the top-scoring bioactive molecules exhibited higher binding affinity with the targets than the chemical compound, i.e., carbendazim. Density functional theory (DFT) analysis confirmed the reactivity of the top-docked compounds. Molecular dynamic simulations confirmed the stability of docked complexes when evaluated through multiple descriptors. Additionally, MM/PBSA analysis supported the findings, indicating the spontaneous binding of the enzymes to the screened ligands. ADMET analysis revealed the safety of the selected bioactive compounds. The present findings could be useful in developing biopesticidal formulations as efficient and sustainable alternatives to chemical pesticides. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
Early online date12 Jan 2024
StateE-pub ahead of print - 12 Jan 2024
Externally publishedYes

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  • Cox 1
  • In-silico
  • licorice
  • phytopathogens
  • thyme oil


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