Ebola Entry Inhibitors Discovered from Maesa perlarius

Nga Yi Tsang, Wan Fei Li, Elizabeth Varhegyi, Lijun Rong*, Hong Jie Zhang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Ebola virus disease (EVD), a disease caused by infection with Ebola virus (EBOV), is characterized by hemorrhagic fever and a high case fatality rate. With limited options for the treatment of EVD, anti-Ebola viral therapeutics need to be urgently developed. In this study, over 500 extracts of medicinal plants collected in the Lingnan region were tested against infection with Ebola-virus-pseudotyped particles (EBOVpp), leading to the discovery of Maesa perlarius as an anti-EBOV plant lead. The methanol extract (MPBE) of the stems of this plant showed an inhibitory effect against EBOVpp, with an IC50 value of 0.52 µg/mL, which was confirmed by testing the extract against infectious EBOV in a biosafety level 4 laboratory. The bioassay-guided fractionation of MPBE resulted in three proanthocyanidins (procyanidin B2 (1), procyanidin C1 (2), and epicatechin-(4β→8)-epicatechin-(4β→8)-epicatechin-(4β→8)-epicatechin (3)), along with two flavan-3-ols ((+)-catechin (4) and (−)-epicatechin (5)). The IC50 values of the compounds against pseudovirion-bearing EBOV-GP ranged from 0.83 to 36.0 µM, with 1 as the most potent inhibitor. The anti-EBOV activities of five synthetic derivatives together with six commercially available analogues, including EGCG ((−)-epigallocatechin-3-O-gallate (8)), were further investigated. Molecular docking analysis and binding affinity measurement suggested the EBOV glycoprotein could be a potential molecular target for 1 and its related compounds.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2620
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Catalysis
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anti-Ebola virus activity
  • Condensed tannin
  • EGCG
  • Flavan-3-ol
  • Maesa perlarius
  • Procyanidin


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