Characterization of the inhibitory effect of an extract of Prunella vulgaris on Ebola virus glycoprotein (GP)-mediated virus entry and infection

Xu Zhang, Zhujun Ao, Alexander Bello, Xiaozhuo Ran, Shuiping Liu, Jeffrey Wigle, Gary Kobinger, Xiaojian Yao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Currently, no approved antiviral therapeutic is available for treatment or prevention of Ebola virus (EBOV) infection. In this study, we characterized an EBOV-glycoprotein (GP) pseudotyped HIV-1-based vector system in different cell cultures, including human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and human macrophages, for the screening of anti-EBOV-GP agent(s). Based on this system, we demonstrated that an aqueous extract (CHPV) from the Chinese herb Prunella vulgaris displayed a potent inhibitory effect on EBOV-GP pseudotyped virus (EBOV-GP-V)-mediated infection in various cell lines, including HUVEC and macrophage. In addition, our results indicated that CHPV was able to block an eGFP-expressing Zaire ebola virus (eGFP-ZEBOV) infection in VeroE6 cells. The anti-EBOV activity of CHPV was exhibited in a dose-dependent manner. At a 12.5 μg/ml concentration, the CHPV showed a greater than 80% inhibition of EBOV-GP-V and eGFP-EBOV infections. Likewise, our studies suggested that the inhibitory effect of CHPV occurred by binding directly to EBOV-GP-Vs and blocking the early viral events. Interestingly, our results have shown that CHPV was able to enhance the anti-EBOV activity of the monoclonal antibody MAb 2G4 against EBOV-GP. Overall, this study provides evidence that CHPV has anti-EBOV activity and may be developed as a novel antiviral approach against EBOV infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-31
Number of pages12
JournalAntiviral research
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese herb Prunella vulgaris
  • EBOV-GP pseudovirions
  • Ebola virus (EBOV)
  • Glycoprotein (GP)
  • Monoclonal antibody MAb

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Virology


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