Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39225. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039225. Epub 2012 Jun 13.

Fangchinoline inhibits human immunodeficiency virus type 1 replication by interfering with gp160 proteolytic processing.

Author information

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


The introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy has led to a significant reduction in the morbidity and mortality of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients. However, the emergence of drug resistance has resulted in the failure of treatments in large numbers of patients and thus necessitates the development of new classes of anti-HIV drugs. In this study, more than 200 plant-derived small-molecule compounds were evaluated in a cell-based HIV-1 antiviral screen, resulting in the identification of a novel HIV-1 inhibitor (fangchinoline). Fangchinoline, a bisbenzylisoquinoline alkaloid isolated from Radix Stephaniae tetrandrae, exhibited antiviral activity against HIV-1 laboratory strains NL4-3, LAI and BaL in MT-4 and PM1 cells with a 50% effective concentration ranging from 0.8 to 1.7 µM. Mechanism-of-action studies showed that fangchinoline did not exhibit measurable antiviral activity in TZM-b1 cells but did inhibit the production of infectious virions in HIV-1 cDNA transfected 293T cells, which suggests that the compound targets a late event in infection cycle. Furthermore, the antiviral effect of fangchinoline seems to be HIV-1 envelope-dependent, as the production of infectious HIV-1 particles packaged with a heterologous envelope, the vesicular stomatitis virus G glycoprotein, was unaffected by fangchinoline. Western blot analysis of HIV envelope proteins expressed in transfected 293T cells and in isolated virions showed that fangchinoline inhibited HIV-1 gp160 processing, resulting in reduced envelope glycoprotein incorporation into nascent virions. Collectively, our results demonstrate that fangchinoline inhibits HIV-1 replication by interfering with gp160 proteolytic processing. Fangchinoline may serve as a starting point for developing a new HIV-1 therapeutic approach.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center