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In vitro and in silico assessment of anti-cholinesterase potential of Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae): furnished with network pharmacology

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Searching for cholinesterase (ChE) inhibitory small molecules will open a new horizon to design eco-friendly antiinsectants and anti-Alzheimer’s disease agents since we encounter to drug resistance against available drugs/toxins. Here, the ChE inhibitory activity of methyl alcohol extracts of Ricinus communis L. (RC) has been investigated in vitro and its mechanism was mined computationally. The beans of RC showed anti-ChE properties for acetyl-ChE (AChE) of 65.33% and for butyryl-ChE (BChE) of 49.00%. The methyl alcohol extract of RC leaves showed lesser inhibitory effects of 27.67% for AChE than 5.67% for BChE. In silico findings showed that among phytochemicals found in RC, stigmasterol oleate, fucosterol, trachylobane, lupeol, casbene, and alpha-amyrin have a trustful binding affinity (BA) of − 12.2, − 11.9, − 10.6, − 10.4, − 10.2, and − 9.9 kcal/mol with AChE, respectively, while beta-tocopherol, beyerene and kaurene have same negative BA − 9.8 kcal/mol. Alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol showed identical BA of − 9.6 kcal/mol. In this regard, delta-tocopherol and beta-amyrin showed BA of − 9.5 (kcal/mol), therefore all phytochemicals may be considered putative binders of AChE. In this line, alpha- and beta-amyrin, lupeol, stigmasterol oleate, fucosterol, casbene, beyerene, and catechin found in RC showed greater BA of − 11.3, − 11, − 10.7, − 9.6, − 9.6, − 9.5, − 9.3, and − 9 kcal/mol while alpha-tocopherol, kaurene, and trachylobane have identical BA at − 8.8 kcal/mol, therefore, they may inhibit BChE. In sum, RC can be considered as a natural factory of anti-ChE lead-like molecules that was gifted by Mesopotamian medicine and Kurdish ethnomedicine to the modern biopharmaceuticals.

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This research was supported by an intramural fund received by the third author. We would please to thank, gratitude and appreciation Dr. Naim Abdel Yasser Al-Aboudi for giving us the opportunity to conduct our research in Babylon University.


This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

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Correspondence to Isaac Karimi.

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According to the authors, no studies involving human participants or animals were used for the purpose of this article.

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Isaac Karimi has no conflict of interest. Layth Jasim Mohammad has no conflict of interest. Namdar Yousofvand has no conflict of interest. Jasim Mohammed Abdulhussein has no conflict of interest. Baydaa Abed Hussein has no conflict of interest.

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Karimi, I., Mohammad, L.J., Yousofvand, N. et al. In vitro and in silico assessment of anti-cholinesterase potential of Ricinus communis L. (Euphorbiaceae): furnished with network pharmacology. ADV TRADIT MED (ADTM) (2024).

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