Anti-HIV-1 integrase potency of methylgallate from Alchornea cordifolia using in vitro and in silico approaches

Xavier Siwe-Noundou*, Thommas M. Musyoka, Vuyani Moses, Derek T. Ndinteh, Dumisani Mnkandhla, Heinrich Hoppe, Özlem Tastan Bishop, Rui W.M. Krause

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


According to the 2018 report of the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), a disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), remains a significant public health problem. The non-existence of a cure or effective vaccine for the disease and the associated emergence of resistant viral strains imply an urgent need for the discovery of novel anti-HIV drug candidates. The current study aimed to identify potential anti-retroviral compounds from Alchornea cordifolia. Bioactive compounds were identified using several chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques and subsequently evaluated for cytotoxicity and anti-HIV properties. Molecular modelling studies against HIV-1 integrase (HIV-1 IN) were performed to decipher the mode of action of methylgallate, the most potent compound (IC 50 = 3.7 nM) and its analogues from ZINC database. Cytotoxicity assays showed that neither the isolated compounds nor the crude methanolic extract displayed cytotoxicity effects on the HeLa cell line. A strong correlation between the in vitro and in silico results was observed and important HIV-1 IN residues interacting with the different compounds were identified. These current results indicate that methylgallate is the main anti-HIV-1 compound in A. cordifolia stem bark, and could be a potential platform for the development of new HIV-1 IN inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4718
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


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