Phyllanthus amarus down-regulates hepatitis B virus mRNA transcription and replication

Authors


Sanjeev Gupta MD Liver Research Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Ullman 625, 1300 Morris Park Avenue, Bronx, NY 10461, USA

Abstract

The Phyllanthus amarus plant shows potential for treating hepatitis B virus. To define the mechanism of action of P. amarus, we used HepG2 2.2.15 cells, which support hepatitis B virus replication. P. amarus inhibited hepatitis B virus polymerase activity, decreased episomal hepatitis B virus DNA content and suppressed virus release into culture medium. To examine transcriptional control mechanisms, we used G26 hepatitis B virus transgenic mice, which produce serum HBsAg but neither HBcAg nor virion particles. When P. amarus was administered to transgenic mice, hepatic HBsAg mRNA levels decreased, indicating transcriptional or post-transcriptional down-regulation of the transgene. Increase in hepatitis B virus mRNA expression after stimulation of the glucocorticoid responsive element was also suppressed by P. amarus, suggesting involvement of the hepatitis B virus enhancer in this response. Disruption by P. amarus of hepatitis B virus polymerase activity, mRNA transcription and replication supports its role as an antiviral agent.

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