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An in silico study of lignans as selective estrogen receptor modulators to treat viral infections

Author Affiliations

  • 1Department of Bioinformatics, Stella Maris College, Cathedral Road, Chennai-600086, Tamil Nadu, India
  • 2Department of Biotechnology, Jamal Mohammed College, Tiruchirappalli, India, nargisalmas
  • 3gmail.com

Int. Res. J. Biological Sci., Volume 8, Issue (3), Pages 19-25, March,10 (2019)


Viral infections are more predominant and hazardous to human life. Treatment of viral infections poses a serious threat to the economy and the growth of society. Flax is an oil herb that constitutes lignans as the major phytocompounds. These lignans maneuver as phytoestrogens with the capability of modulating the Estrogen Receptor alpha and beta selectively. Explicitly phytoestrogens are cataloged into four main categories, such as Flavonoids, Stilbenes, Coumestans,and Lignans. Molecular docking studies were performed with 238 phytoestrogen compounds which resulted in the appreciable binding of lignans to the isoforms of estrogen receptors alpha and beta. The X ray crystal structures of human estrogen receptor α with an agonist (PDBID-1GWR), human estrogen receptor α with an antagonist (PDBID-3ERT), human estrogen receptor β with an agonist (PDBID-2JJ3) and estrogen receptor β with an antagonist (PDBID-1QKN) were used as targets. The two lignans molecules of flax seeds, Isoariciresinol and lariciresinol interacted well with both the estrogen receptors α and β. Conversely, they were analogous to an agonist with the binding score of -9.78 and -9.08 respectively with a profound binding affinity to the alternative receptors which act as agonists. They also obey the ADMET parameters with no violations of Lipinski's rules and show drug-likeliness. Isoariciresinol and lariciresinol are proficient in modulating the Estrogen Receptor Signaling. Various research papers have proved that viral replication is inhibited by the availability of estrogen to ERβ and hence can be designed as therapeutic leads for treating viral infections.


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