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Published on:September 2023
Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research, 2023; 57(4):1044-1052.
Original Article | doi:10.5530/ijper.57.4.126

In silico Discovery of STRA 6 Vitamin A Receptor, as a Novel Binding Receptor of COVID-19

Authors and affiliation (s):

Mahmoud Elkazzaz1, Amr Ahmed2 , Yousry Esam-Eldin Abo-Amer3 , Tamer Haydara4 , Wafa Ali ELtayb5, Mohammad Shahbaz Khan6 , Kunal Bhattacharya7 , Salma Alkhammash8 , Hadeer Mattar9 , Saba beigh10, Mohammed F. Abo El Magd11, Abdullah Haikal12, Islem Abid13, Amr S. Abouzied14,15, Israa M. Shamkh16,*

1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, Damietta University, Damietta, EGYPT.

2Department Public Health, Director of Tuberculosis Ghubera Mobile Team, First Health Cluster, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA.

3Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kafrelsheikh University, Kafrelsheikh, EGYPT.

4Department Hepatology, Gastroenterology, and Infectious Diseases, Mahala Hepatology Teaching Hospital, EGYPT.

5Department Biotechnology, Faculty of Science and Technology, Shendi University, Shendi, Nher Anile, SUDAN.

6Children’s National Hospital, Washington, DC, USA.

7Pratiksha Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Guwahati, Assam, INDIA.
8Department of Immunology and Allergy, Consultant Immunology and Allergy, King Abdullah Medical City-Makkah, SAUDI ARABIA.

9School of Applied Biomedical Sciences, Al-Baha University, Al-Baha, SAUDI ARABIA.

10Department of Public Health, Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences, Albaha University, Albaha, SAUDI ARABIA.

11Zoology and Nematode Department, Faculty of Agriculture, Al Azhar University, Cairo, EGYPT.

12Department of Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, Mansoura University, Mansoura, EGYPT.

13Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh, SAUDI ARABIA.

14Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, College of Pharmacy, University of Hail, Hail, SAUDI ARABIA.

15Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, National Organization for Drug Control and Research (NODCAR), Giza, EGYPT.

16Chemo and Bioinformatics Lab, Bio Search Research Institution, BSRI, Giza, EGYPT.


A global pandemic of pneumonia caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) began in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019. Although, the ACE2 receptor has been demonstrated to be the main entry receptor of COVID-19, but our docking analysis, predicted and discovered a novel receptor termed STRA 6 that may play a critical role in the pathogenicity of COVID-19. STRA6 receptor expressed in many organs and immune cells, upregulated by retinoic acid jm6 (STRA 6) was the first protein to be identified in a novel category of proteins, cytokine signaling transporters, due to its ability to function as both a cell surface receptor and a membrane protein that binds to retinol binding protein facilitating cellular uptake of retinol. The primary ligand of STRA6 (vitamin/retinol) was shown to be drastically reduced during COVID-19 infection, which agrees with our findings. We analyze the STRA6 and ACE2 receptor networks to predict the specific association among certain other proteins which might rely on similar functionality. Molecular docking showed a high affinity between the Spike protein with STRA6, the docking score of COVID-19 spike protein with STRA6 (-354.68) kcal/mol was higher than the docking score of spike protein with ACE2 (-341.21) kcal/mol. Results of MD simulations revealed significant stability of the spike protein with STRA6 up to 100 ns. SARS-CoV-2 spike protein binds strongly and directly to STRA6. Which are highly expressed in Lymphatic system and Immune cells. This study paves the way towards understanding the complex mechanism of existing of covid-19 infection complications such as immune suppression and ineffective RIG-I pathway. Restoring the balance between the STRA6 and ACE2 in the context of spike protein RBD may be promising target in SARS CoV-2 Pathogenesis and may reveal new drug targets for new variants of COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19, STRA6, ACE2, Molecular docking.



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The Official Journal of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI)
(Registered under Registration of Societies Act XXI of 1860 No. 122 of 1966-1967, Lucknow)

Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (IJPER) [ISSN-0019-5464] is the official journal of Association of Pharmaceutical Teachers of India (APTI) and is being published since 1967.


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