Published online Mar 21, 2011. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v17.i11.1507
Revised: January 5, 2011
Accepted: January 12, 2011
Published online: March 21, 2011
AIM: To analyze the antiviral mechanism of Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) against hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication.
METHODS: In this research, the HBV-replicating cell line HepG2.117 was used to investigate the antiviral mechanism of EGCG. Cytotoxicity of EGCG was analyzed by 3-(4,5-Dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide assay. Hepatitis B virus e antigen (HBeAg) and hepatitis B virus surface antigen (HBsAg) in the supernatant were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Precore mRNA and pregenomic RNA (pgRNA) levels were determined by semi-quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. The effect of EGCG on HBV core promoter activity was measured by dual luciferase reporter assay. HBV covalently closed circular DNA and replicative intermediates of DNA were quantified by real-time PCR assay.
RESULTS: When HepG2.117 cells were grown in the presence of EGCG, the expression of HBeAg was suppressed, however, the expression of HBsAg was not affected. HBV precore mRNA level was also down-regulated by EGCG, while the transcription of precore mRNA was not impaired. The synthesis of both HBV covalently closed circular DNA and replicative intermediates of DNA were reduced by EGCG treatment to a similar extent, however, HBV pgRNA transcripted from chromosome-integrated HBV genome was not affected by EGCG treatment, indicating that EGCG targets only replicative intermediates of DNA synthesis.
CONCLUSION: In HepG2.117 cells, EGCG inhibits HBV replication by impairing HBV replicative intermediates of DNA synthesis and such inhibition results in reduced production of HBV covalently closed circular DNA.