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DMO-CAP inhibits influenza virus replication by activating heme oxygenase-1-mediated IFN response

Zhong, Ming, Wang, Huiqiang, Ma, Linlin, Yan, Haiyan, Wu, Shuo, Gu, Zhengyi, Li, Yuhuan
Virology journal 2019 v.16 no.1 pp. 21
Artemisia rupestris, Influenza A virus, Western blotting, antiviral properties, flavonoids, fluorescent antibody technique, gene expression regulation, genes, heme, luciferase, mitogen-activated protein kinase, new drugs, pandemic, phosphorylation, quantitative polymerase chain reaction, respiratory tract diseases, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, therapeutics, viral load, virus replication, viruses
BACKGROUND: As a leading cause of respiratory disease, influenza A virus (IAV) infection remains a pandemic threat in annual seasonal outbreaks. Given the limitation of existing anti-influenza therapeutic drugs, development of new drugs is urgently required. Flavonoids extracted from Artemisia rupestris L. have an inhibitory effect on virus infections. Despite this fact, the antiviral properties of 6-demethoxy-4′-O-methylcapillarisin (DMO-CAP), one of such flavonoids, against the influenza virus have not been reported. Thus, the aim of this study is to investigate the anti-IAV virus efficacy and antiviral mechanism of DMO-CAP. METHODS: The inhibitory activity of DMO-CAP against IAV was detected in vitro using viral titers by Western blot analysis, qRT-PCR, and immunofluorescence assays. The mechanism of DMO-CAP against influenza virus was analyzed by Western blot analysis, qRT-PCR, and luciferase assay. RESULTS: DMO-CAP exhibits broad spectrum of antiviral activities against IAV in vitro. Mechanistically, DMO-CAP treatment induced the phosphorylation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), JNK MAPK, and ERK MAPK, which led to the activation of Nrf2/heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) pathway. Then, the up-regulation of HO-1 expression activated the IFN response and induced the expression of IFN-stimulated genes, thereby leading to efficient anti-IAV effects. CONCLUSIONS: DMO-CAP inhibited IAV replication by activating HO-1-mediated IFN response. DMO-CAP may be a potential agent or supplement against IAV infection.