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Life Sci. 1997;60(23):PL345-51.

A comparison of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 inhibition by partially purified aqueous extracts of Chinese medicinal herbs.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, New Territories.


A multiple screening approach to detect compounds inhibitory to various aspects of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) life-cycle has been applied to aqueous extracts of 19 herbs traditionally used in Chinese medicine as anti-viral agents. The extracts were tested for their ability to inhibit HIV-1 in a series of in vitro assays. The extracts were tested for inhibition of the interaction between HIV-1 gp120 and immobilized CD4 receptor, inhibition of recombinant HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and for inhibition of three glycohydrolase enzymes that contribute to viral protein glycosylation. Six of the herb extracts (30%) were potent inhibitors of the interaction between HIV-1 gp120 and the CD4 receptor (ID50 5.6 - 79.4 microg/ml), two extracts (10%) contained potent reverse transcriptase inhibitors (ID50 16.9 - 26.0 microg/ml) and 14 extracts (75%) were able to inhibit at least one of the glycohydrolase enzymes.

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