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Antivir Chem Chemother. 2008;19(3):125-32.

Anti-human cytomegalovirus activity of constituents from Sasa albo-marginata (Kumazasa in Japan).

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokuriku University, Kanazawa, Japan.



Effective new anti-human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) agents and regimens need to be developed. We examined the anti-HCMV properties of crude extract (True World Extract of Bambuseae sasa [TWEBS]) and five compounds (p-coumaric acid, 3-hydroxy-4-methoxybenzaldehyde [vanillin], p-hydroxybenzaldehyde, 3-hydroxypyridine and 4',5,7-trihydroxy-3',5'-dimethoxyflavone [tricin]), isolated from Sasa albo-marginata, a bamboo known in Japan as Sasa.


Among TWEBS and five compounds screened in a plaque reduction assay, four showed anti-HCMV activity in the MRC-5 human embryonic fibroblast cell line. The anti-HCMV mechanisms of the TWEBS was examined by western blot analysis using primary antibody specific for an immediate early (IE) antigen of HCMV, for a structural late antigen of HCMV and for beta-actin.


Treatment of cells with > or = 0.001% of TWEBS inhibited the observable cytopathic effects of HCMV on infected cells. Western blot analysis demonstrated that TWEBS decreased the expression of IE antigen and late antigen of HCMV in the infected cells. Next, we examined the anti-HCMV properties of five compounds isolated from TWEBS. In a viral plaque reduction assay, tricin showed dose-dependent inhibitory properties with a 50% effective concentration of 0.17 microg/ml (selective index = 1,205.8).


The hot water extract (TWEBS) of Sasa albo-marginata, with tricin isolated from it, has anti-HCMV activity in MRC-5 cells. TWEBS and/or tricin are a novel compound with potential anti-HCMV activity. Future studies should evaluate these findings in vivo.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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