A Density Functional Theory Study On Silver And Bissilver Complexes With Lighter Tetrylene: Are Silver And Bis-Silver Carbenes Candidates For Sars-Cov-2 Inhibition? Insight From Molecular Docking Simulation

PhD.Bui Thi Phuong ThuyThanh Q. BuiHuynh Thi Phuong LoanTran Thi Ai MyDuong Tuan QuangVo Duy NhanPhan Tu QuyPham Van TatDuy Quang DaoNguyen Tien TrungLam K. HuynhNguyen Thi Ai Nhung

Faculty of Fundamental Sciences

Research output: Article


Ribavirin and remdesivir have been preclinically reported as potential drugs for the treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection, while light silver tetrylene complexes (NHEPh–AgCl and (NHEPh–AgCl)2 with E = C, Si, and Ge) have gained significant interest due to their promising applicability on the cytological scale. Firstly, the structures and bonding states of silver–tetrylene complexes (NHE–Ag) and bis-silver–tetrylene complexes (NHE–Ag-bis) were investigated using density functional theory (DFT) at the BP86 level with the def2-SVP and def2-TZVPP basis sets. Secondly, the inhibitory capabilities of the carbene complexes (NHC–Ag and NHC–Ag-bis) and the two potential drugs (ribavirin and remdesivir) on human-protein ACE2 and SARS-CoV-2 protease PDB6LU7 were evaluated using molecular docking simulation. The carbene ligand NHC bonds in a head-on configuration with AgCl and (AgCl)2, whereas, the other NHE (E = Si and Ge) tetrylene ligands bond in a side-on mode to the metal fragments. The bond dissociation energy (BDE) of the NHE–Ag bond in the complex families follows the order of NHC–Ag > NHSi–Ag > NHGe–Ag and NHSi–Ag-bis > NHGe–Ag-bis > NHC–Ag-bis. The natural bond orbital analysis implies that the [NHEPh→AgCl] and [(NHEPh)2→(AgCl)2] donations are derived mainly from the σ- and π-contributions of the ligands. The docking results indicate that both the ACE2 and PDB6LU7 proteins are strongly inhibited by silver–carbene NHC–Ag, bis-silver–carbene NHC–Ag-bis, ribavirin, and remdesivir with the docking score energy values varying from −17.5 to −16.5 kcal mol−1 and −16.9 to −16.6 kcal mol−1, respectively. The root-mean-square deviation values were recorded to be less than 2 Å in all the calculated systems. Thus, the present study suggests that silver–carbene NHC–Ag and bis-silver–carbene NHC–Ag-bis complexes are potential candidates to inhibit ACE2 and PDB6LU7, and thus potentially conducive to prevent infection caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Publication year
21 Aug 2020
Original language
Published Journal
RSC Advances
Volume No
Vol. 10 Issue 51
Scopus Indexed
ISSN index

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