Violacein, A Microbial Antiviral Product: Does Play Key Role as Active Agent Against SARS-CoV-2?

Document Type : Mini Review


1 Laboratory of Urogenital Carcinogenesis and Immunotherapy, Department of Structural and Functional Biology, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, SP, Brazil

2 Nanomedicine Research Unit (Nanomed), Center for Natural and Human Sciences (CCNH), Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC), Santo André, SP, Brazil

3 Departamento de Ciências Farmacêuticas e Departamento de Bioquímica, Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), São Paulo, SP, Brazil

4 Laboratory of Basic and Applied Bacteriology, Department of Microbiology, Biology Sciences Center, Universidade Estadual de Londrina (UEL), Londrina, PR, Brazil


Violacein (3-(1,2-dihydro-5-(5-hydroxy-1H-indol-3-yl)-2-oxo-3H-pyrrol-3-ilydene)-1,3-dihydro-2H-indol-2-one)), a microbial product from Chromobacterium violaceum was characterized after continuous attempts to feature it, based on degradation and synthesis procedures, at the University of Liverpool (England), from 1958 to 1960 and only only at 2001 was chemically synthesized. It is a quite known antimicrobial and antiviral natural product. New attempts to solve the infection caused by, or find the proper therapy for, SARS-CoV-2 or producing the infection called COVID-19, must adopt multidisciplinary approach. The aim of the current study is to address the targets, possible strategies and perspectives of new technologies and therapies on SARS-CoV-2. It also hypothesizes the potential of using the therapeutic drug called violacein as multifunctional agent to treat patients at different SARS-CoV-2 contamination stages. Our experience and knowledge about violacein has led us to extrapolate the potential use of this pigment. Violacein’s multiple biological activities as also knowledge on its toxicity and antiviral activity enabled suggesting that it could be the new important agent used to treat SARS-CoV-2. Violacein is highly likely to act as protease inhibitor, at ACE-2 receptor level and as immunotherapeutic drug against COVID-19. In term of chemotherapy it will be discussed the actual antiviral used against SARS-CoV-2, such as, thalidomide, ivermectin and melatonin, among others.