Berberine is a key component in Coptis chinensis with anti-plague activity. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Microarray expression profiling of Yersinia pestis in response to berberine.
Planta Med. 2009 Mar;75(4):396-8. Epub 2008 Dec 3. PMID: 19053015
Department of Health Laboratory Technology, School of Public Health, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, PR China.
Coptis chinensis Franch. is a natural herb widely used in China for prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. Plague is a deadly disease caused by Yersinia pestis. Coptis chinensis Franch. is considered the therapeutic agent of choice against plague rather than conventional antibiotics because of its low cost and low toxicity. Berberine is the major constituent of a Coptis chinensis Franch. extract. In the present study, DNA microarray was used to investigate the transcription of Y. pestis in response to berberine. The minimal inhibition concentration (MIC) of berberine to Y. pestis was determined with the liquid dilution method. The gene expression profile of Y. pestis was performed by exposing Y. pestis to berberine at a concentration of 10 x MIC for 30 min. Total RNA was extracted and purified from Y. pestis, reverse-transcribed to cDNA, and then labeled with Cy-dye probes. The labeled probes were hybridized to the microarray. The results were obtained by a laser scanner and analyzed with SAM software. A total of 360 genes were differentially expressed in response to berberine: 333 genes were upregulated, and 27 were downregulated. The upregulation of genes that encode proteins involved in metabolism was a remarkable change. In addition to a number of genes of unknown encoding or unassigned functions, genes encoding cellular envelope and transport/binding functions represented the majority of the altered genes. A number of genes related to iron uptake were induced. This study revealed global transcriptional changes of Y. pestis in response to berberine, hence providing insights into the mechanisms of Coptis chinensis Franch. against Y. pestis.