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Arch Virol. 2012 Jul;157(7):1301-12. doi: 10.1007/s00705-012-1304-0. Epub 2012 Apr 11.

(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate inhibits the replication cycle of hepatitis C virus.

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State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei 430071, People's Republic of China.


(-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is the most abundant catechin in green tea. In this study, we found that hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection was significantly suppressed by EGCG in an HCV cell culture (HCVcc) system using a JFH1-GFP chimeric virus, with a 50 % effective concentration (EC(50)) of 17.9 μM. The inhibitory activity of EGCG was confirmed by monitoring HCV RNA and protein expression levels in Huh7.5.1 cells infected with the JFH1 virus. Moreover, we demonstrated that the inhibitory mechanisms of EGCG were attributable to the suppression of both the HCV entry and RNA replication steps, although EGCG had little effect on translation directed by the viral internal ribosome entry site (IRES). Furthermore, HCV could be rapidly eliminated from cell cultures after two and five passages in the presence of 50 and 25 μM EGCG, respectively. These results indicate that EGCG is a potential candidate as a preventive and antiviral drug for HCV infection.

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