Lichens are symbiotic organisms that have been traditionally used for treating different kinds of ailments. As there are only a few reports on the antiviral activity of lichens, we thought of evaluating the anti-Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) activity of methanolic extract of Roccella montagnei and their isolated compounds. Fractionation of crude methanolic extract of Roccella montagnei by column chromatography isolated two pure compounds. Antiviral activity was assessed using a CPE inhibition assay at non-cytotoxic concentrations on Vero cells. Molecular docking and dynamics studies were carried out against Herpes simplex type-1 thymidine kinase to understand the binding interactions of the isolated compounds with reference to acyclovir. Isolated compounds were characterized as methyl orsellinate and montagnetol by spectral methods. Methanolic extract of Roccella montagnei exhibited an EC50 value of 56.51 µg/ml, while the compounds methyl orsellinate and montagnetol offered EC50 values of 13.50 µg/ml and 37.52 µg/ml, respectively, against HSV-1 viral infection on Vero cell lines. The selectively index (SI) of montagnetol (10.93) was found to be higher when compared to that of methyl orsellinate (5.55), indicating its better anti-HSV-1 activity. The docking and dynamics studies showed montagnetol was stable throughout the 100 ns, having better interactions and docking scores with HSV-1 thymidine kinase than methyl orsellinate, as well as the standard. To understand the mechanism of montagnetol’s anti-HSV-1 activity, more research is required, and this could lead to the discovery of new and effective antiviral agents. Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11484-11497
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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