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1.  18β-glycyrrhetinic acid inhibits rotavirus replication in culture 
Virology Journal  2012;9:96.
Glycyrrhizin (GA) and primary metabolite 18β-glycyrrhetinic acid (GRA) are pharmacologically active components of the medicinal licorice root, and both have been shown to have antiviral and immunomodulatory properties. Although these properties are well established, the mechanisms of action are not completely understood. In this study, GA and GRA were tested for the ability to inhibit rotavirus replication in cell culture, toward a long term goal of discovering natural compounds that may complement existing vaccines.
Epithelial cells were treated with GA or GRA various times pre- or post-infection and virus yields were measured by immunofluorescent focus assay. Levels of viral proteins VP2, VP6, and NSP2 in GRA treated cells were measured by immunoblot to determine if there was an effect of GRA treatment on the accumulation of viral protein.
GRA treatment reduced rotavirus yields by 99% when added to infected cultures post-- virus adsorption, whereas virus yields in GA treated cultures were similar to mock treated controls. Time of addition experiments indicated that GRA-mediated replication inhibition likely occurs at a step or steps subsequent to virus entry. The amounts of VP2, VP6 and NSP2 were substantially reduced when GRA was added to cultures up to two hours post-entry.
GRA, but not GA, has significant antiviral activity against rotavirus replication in vitro, and studies to determine whether GRA attenuates rotavirus replication in vivo are underway.
PMCID: PMC3478227  PMID: 22616823
Rotavirus; Licorice; 18beta-glycyrrhetinic acid; Antiviral
2.  Rotavirus infection activates the UPR but modulates its activity 
Virology Journal  2011;8:359.
Rotaviruses are known to modulate the innate antiviral defense response driven by IFN. The purpose of this study was to identify changes in the cellular proteome in response to rotavirus infection in the context of the IFN response. We also sought to identify proteins outside the IFN induction and signaling pathway that were modulated by rotavirus infection.
2D-DIGE and image analysis were used to identify cellular proteins that changed in levels of expression in response to rotavirus infection, IFN treatment, or IFN treatment prior to infection. Immunofluorescence microscopy was used to determine the subcellular localization of proteins associated with the unfolded protein response (UPR).
The data show changes in the levels of multiple proteins associated with cellular stress in infected cells, including levels of ER chaperones GRP78 and GRP94. Further investigations showed that GRP78, GRP94 and other proteins with roles in the ER-initiated UPR including PERK, CHOP and GADD34, were localized to viroplasms in infected cells.
Together the results suggest rotavirus infection activates the UPR, but modulates its effects by sequestering sensor, transcription factor, and effector proteins in viroplasms. The data consequently also suggest that viroplasms may directly or indirectly play a fundamental role in regulating signaling pathways associated with cellular defense responses.
PMCID: PMC3149005  PMID: 21774819

Results 1-2 (2)