Bakuchiol Is a Phenolic Isoprenoid with Novel Enantiomer-selective Anti-influenza A Virus Activity Involving Nrf2 Activation.
J Biol Chem. 2015 Nov 13 ;290(46):28001-17. Epub 2015 Oct 7. PMID: 26446794
Influenza represents a substantial threat to human health and requires novel therapeutic approaches. Bakuchiol is a phenolic isoprenoid compound present in Babchi (Psoralea corylifolia L.) seeds. We examined the anti-influenza viral activity of synthetic bakuchiol using Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. We found that the naturally occurring form, (+)-(S)-bakuchiol, and its enantiomer, (-)-(R)-bakuchiol, inhibited influenza A viral infection and growth and reduced the expression of viral mRNAs and proteins in these cells. Furthermore, these compounds markedly reduced the mRNA expression of the host cell influenza A virus-induced immune response genes, interferon-β and myxovirus-resistant protein 1. Interestingly, (+)-(S)-bakuchiol had greater efficacy than (-)-(R)-bakuchiol, indicating that chirality influenced anti-influenza virus activity. In vitro studies indicated that bakuchiol did not strongly inhibit the activities of influenza surface proteins or the M2 ion channel, expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Analysis of luciferase reporter assay data unexpectedly indicated that bakuchiol may induce some host cell factor(s) that inhibited firefly and Renilla luciferases. Next generation sequencing and KeyMolnet analysis of influenza A virus-infected and non-infected cells exposed to bakuchiol revealed activation of transcriptional regulation by nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf), and an Nrf2 reporter assay showed that (+)-(S)-bakuchiol activated Nrf2. Additionally, (+)-(S)-bakuchiol up-regulated the mRNA levels of two Nrf2-induced genes, NAD(P)H quinone oxidoreductase 1 and glutathione S-transferase A3. These findings demonstrated that bakuchiol had enantiomer-selective anti-influenza viral activity involving a novel effect on the host cell oxidative stress response.