Interfering With Lipid Raft Association: A Mechanism to Control Influenza Virus Infection By Sambucus Nigra

Document Type : Research article


1 Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Agricultural Research Education and Extension Organization, Karaj, Iran.

2 Biotechnology Department, Payame Noor University of East Tehran Tehran, Iran.


Sambucus nigra (elder) are broadly used species to treat microbial infections. The
potential antiviral activity and mechanism action of elder fruit (EF) in human epithelium cell
(A549) cultures infected with H9N2 influenza virus were determined. The effect of various
concentrations of EF on influenza virus replication was examined by using virus titration,
quantitative real time RT-PCR, fusion and lipid raft assays following two treatment procedures:
A) pre-treated H9N2 virus with each concentration of EF extract and transfection of A549 cell
cultures, and B) each concentrations of EF was added to H9N2 virus infected-cell cultures
following virus adsorption. In both treatments with lower doses of EF increased viral titer as
well as synthesized viral nucleoprotein as indicating the herb had no inhibitory effects on virus
replication. In (B) trial with higher doses, 40 and 80 μg/mL of EF, a significant decrease in
virus titer and viral protein synthesis were shown in EF treated cells indicating the herb affect
either entry of viruses or inhibition virus particle release. The results suggest that EF treatment
of the influenza virus infected-human epithelial cells may involve in lipid raft association
which function as platform for formation of viral membrane fusion and budding. Differencesin
treatment time and dose of EF extract in infected cells with influenza virus have a marked effect
on the efficacy of the herb.


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