Although respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of respiratory tract infection in children, no effective therapies are available. Recently, RSV G, the attachment glycoprotein, has become a major focus in the development of therapeutic strategies against RSV infection. Treatment of RSV-infected cultured cells with maoto, a traditional herbal medicine for acute febrile diseases, significantly reduced the viral RNA and titers. RSV attachment to the cell surface was inhibited both in the presence of maoto and when RSV particles were pre-treated with maoto. We demonstrated that maoto components, Ephedrae Herba (EH) and Cinnamomi Cortex (CC), specifically interacted with the central conserved domain (CCD) of G protein, and also found that this interaction blocked viral attachment to the cellular receptor CX3CR1. Genetic mutation of CX3C motif on the CCD, the epitope for CX3CR1, decreased the binding capacity to EH and CC, suggesting that CX3C motif was the target for EH and CC. Finally, oral administration of maoto for five days to RSV-infected mice significantly reduced the lung viral titers. These experiments clearly showed the anti-RSV activity of EH and CC mixed in maoto. Taken together, this study provides insights for the rational design of therapies against RSV infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
- General Agricultural and Biological Sciences