Anti-influenza virus phytochemicals from Radix Paeoniae Alba and characterization of their neuraminidase inhibitory activities.
J Ethnopharmacol. 2020 Feb 17:112671. Epub 2020 Feb 17. PMID: 32081739
ETHNOPHARMACOLOGICAL RELEVANCE: Bai Shao (Radix Paeoniae Alba, BS) is the root of Paeonia lactiflora Pall. in ancient China for Wen Bing (Warm Disease) treatment. Wen Bing has the symptoms of influenza. Ethanol extract of the root has recently been shown to possess anti-influenza activity. However, the active compounds have not yet been identified.
AIM: We showed that BS aqueous extract was potent in inhibiting influenza A virus in infected cells. We aimed to isolate the bioactive compounds and characterize the anti-influenza mechanism.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Plaque reduction bioassay-guided assay was performed for fractions isolated from BS. Hemagglutination inhibition assay and neuraminidase inhibition assay were performed to find the target protein. Molecular docking and reverse genetics were used to confirm the action site of gallic acid on the neuraminidase protein.
RESULTS: We identified three tannin compounds gallic acid (GA), methyl gallate (MG) and pentagalloylglucose (PGG) in BS aqueous extract that could inhibit the replication of influenza A virus in MDCK cells. While only PGG was found to inhibit the influenza virus-induced hemagglutination of chicken red blood cells, all three compounds significantly reduced the activity of the neuraminidase. The results from molecular docking and reverse genetics showed that GA interacted with Arg152 of neuraminidase protein.
CONCLUSION: Three compounds GA, MG and PGG isolated from Bai Shao were found to inhibit influenza A virus in MDCK cells. GA interacts with aa Arg152 of the viral neuraminidase. Our study identified anti-influenza compounds of BS and demonstrated their antiviral mechanism, thus providing scientific evidence for using this herb for clinical treatment.