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Open AccessArticle

Natural Bis-Benzylisoquinoline Alkaloids-Tetrandrine, Fangchinoline, and Cepharanthine, Inhibit Human Coronavirus OC43 Infection of MRC-5 Human Lung Cells

1
Herbal Medicine Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Korea
2
Center for Convergent Research of Emerging Virus Infection, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Daejeon 34114, Korea
3
Department of Non-Clinical Studies, Korea Institute of Toxicology, Daejeon 34114, Korea
4
Zoonotic Virus Laboratory, Institute Pasteur Korea, Seongnam 13488, Korea
5
KM Application Center, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daegu 41062, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomolecules 2019, 9(11), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom9110696
Received: 23 October 2019 / Revised: 31 October 2019 / Accepted: 4 November 2019 / Published: 4 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Medicine)
Stephania tetrandra and other related species of Menispermaceae are the major sources of the bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloids tetrandrine (TET), fangchinoline (FAN), and cepharanthine (CEP). Although the pharmacological properties of these compounds include anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities, the antiviral effects of these compounds against human coronavirus (HCoV) remain unclear. Hence, the aims of the current study were to assess the antiviral activities of TET, FAN, and CEP and to elucidate the underlying mechanisms in HCoV-OC43-infected MRC-5 human lung cells. These compounds significantly inhibited virus-induced cell death at the early stage of virus infection. TET, FAN, and CEP treatment dramatically suppressed the replication of HCoV-OC43 as well as inhibited viral S and N protein expression. The virus-induced host response was reduced by compound treatment as compared with the vehicle control. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that TET, FAN, and CEP are potential natural antiviral agents for the prevention and treatment of HCoV-OC43 infection.
Keywords: bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloids; tetrandrine; fangchinoline; cepharanthine; human coronavirus strain OC43; MRC-5 human lung cell; antiviral effect bis-benzylisoquinoline alkaloids; tetrandrine; fangchinoline; cepharanthine; human coronavirus strain OC43; MRC-5 human lung cell; antiviral effect
MDPI and ACS Style

Kim, D.E.; Min, J.S.; Jang, M.S.; Lee, J.Y.; Shin, Y.S.; Song, J.H.; Kim, H.R.; Kim, S.; Jin, Y.-H.; Kwon, S. Natural Bis-Benzylisoquinoline Alkaloids-Tetrandrine, Fangchinoline, and Cepharanthine, Inhibit Human Coronavirus OC43 Infection of MRC-5 Human Lung Cells. Biomolecules 2019, 9, 696.

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