Shamsher Singh Kanwar*, Shruti Gupta
Protease inhibitors are highly active diverse family of poly(peptides) that are generally present in high concentrations in the storage tissues of the plants such as seeds and tubers. They play important roles in the regulation of proteases and the defence mechanism of plants against pathogens and display antimicrobial, antitumor and antiviral properties. Protease inhibitors have proved to be pharmacologically efficient tool in curing infections and systemic diseases via control of proteolysis. Recently, the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) from Wuhan city of China has caused a global pandemic which has put the entire world on a standstill. Although the entire world has diverted all their efforts in finding an appropriate preventive and cure strategy, yet till date no success has been obtained. Since various viral diseases have been successfully cured by inhibition of viral proteases which are necessary for proteolytic processing of polyproteins, the inhibition of the proteases present on the surface of SARS-CoV-2 using protease inhibitors could prove to be fruitful in the treatment of this disease. This review gives a detail about several natural protease inhibitors present in plants and their antiviral potential so as to be used as an effective therapeutic for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.