A computational approach to evaluate caffeoylquinic acids and flavonoids in Pluchea indica Less. leaves as potential anti-HIV agents

Ni Putu Ermi Hikmawanti, Fadlina Chany Saputri, Arry Yanuar, Ibrahim Jantan, Yeni Yeni, Abdul Mun’im

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Context: The attachment of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 glycoprotein 120 (HIV-1 gp120) to the CD4 receptor of human immune cells is the beginning of HIV-1 infection. Stimulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) production through upregulation of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase-2 (NOX-2) and -4 (NOX-4), and cytochrome P450 2E1 (CYP2E1) of the virus can be a potential target for anti-HIV agents. Aims: To evaluate the inhibitory effects of caffeoylquinic acids (CQAs) and flavonoids of Pluchea indica leaves against the binding of HIV-1 gp120 with CD4 receptor and their antioxidant activities via interactions with NOX-2, NOX-4, and CYP2E1 through in silico study. Methods: Ten CQAs and nine flavonoids of P. indica were docked to the 3TGS (gp120 HIV-1), 2CDU (NOX-2), 3A1F (NOX-4), and 3T3Z (CYP2E1) receptors using the AutoDockTools 1.5.7. Physicochemical and pharmacokinetics properties were predicted using the pkCSM online tool, while toxicity was predicted using the ProTox-II webserver. Results: Mostly, all of the CQAs and flavonoids were able to bind to all receptors. 3,4-Di-O-caffeoylquinic acid has the lowest binding energy (-8.79 kcal/mol) against 3TGS (gp120). 5-O-Caffeoylquinic acid and apigenin have great potential as antioxidants due to their good binding with NOX-2 and CYP2E1. However, CQAs might have ADME problems. Most test compounds did not cause hepatotoxicity, carcinogenicity, or mutagenicity. All test compounds have no cytotoxic potential. However, all CQAs have the potential to be immunotoxins. Conclusions: The findings indicated that 3,4-di-O-caffeylquinic acid could be a potential inhibitor of HIV-1 gp120-CD4 binding, while 5-O-caffeoylquinic acid and apigenin demonstrated strong antioxidant activities via NOX-2 and CYP2E1 inhibition. However, in-depth studies, including experimental in vitro and in vivo studies, are required to validate the anti-HIV activity of the compounds further.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-721
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Pharmacy and Pharmacognosy Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2024


  • antiviral
  • in silico
  • molecular docking
  • phenolics
  • Pluchea indica


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