Ethanolic extract of Phyllanthus nanus (P. nanus) treatment exhibited potent antiviral activity against Hepatitis B virus (HBV). The effects of these extracts on HBV in the HBV genome integrated cell lines—Alexander cells and HepG2 2.2.15 cells were examined. Experimental results showed that the ethanolic extract of P. nanus produced suppressive effect on HBsAg secretion and HBsAg mRNA expression. The extract also inhibited HBV replication as measured by HBV DNA level in vitro. In addition, using a duck HBV (DHBV) primary culture model, the P. nanus ethanolic extract suppressed viral replication of DHBV in DHBV infected primary duck hepatocytes. The gene expression pattern in Alexander cells that had been treated with the ethanolic extract of P. nanus was also revealed by microarray techniques. The microarray results indicated that there was up-regulation of expression of several genes, including annexin A7 (Axn7). The subcellular localization of Axn7 and anti-HBV effect of Axn7 over-expression in Alexander cells were also investigated. Results showed that expression of Axn7–GFP fusion protein are localized around the secretory vesicles and could cause a decrease in HBsAg secretion in Alexander cells. Axn7 protein might play an important role in the medicinal effect of the active principle(s) of P. nanus. J. Cell. Biochem. 97: 795–812, 2006. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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