Theaflavins inhibit entry of hepatitis C virus in cell culture. - GreenMedInfo Summary
Theaflavins, polyphenols of black tea, inhibit entry of hepatitis C virus in cell culture.
PLoS One. 2018 ;13(11):e0198226. Epub 2018 Nov 28. PMID: 30485282
The treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection by combination of direct acting antivirals (DAA), with different mode of action, has made substantial progress in the past few years. However, appearance of resistance and high cost of the therapy is still an obstacle in the achievement of the therapy, more specifically in developing countries. In this context, search for affordable antivirals with new mechanisms of action is still needed. Tea, after water, is the most popular drink worldwide. Polyphenols extracted from green tea have already shown anti-HCV activity as entry inhibitors. Here, three different theaflavins, theaflavin (TF1), theaflavin-3'-monogallate (TF2), and theaflavin-3-3'-digallate (TF3), which are major polyphenols from black tea, were tested against HCV in cell culture. The results showed that all theaflavins inhibit HCV infection in a dose-dependent manner in an early step of infection. Results obtained with HCV pseudotyped virions confirmed their activity on HCV entry and demonstrated their pan-genotypic action. No effect on HCV replication was observed by using HCV replicon. Investigation on the mechanism of action of black tea theaflavins showed that they act directly on the virus particle and are able to inhibit cell-to-cell spread. Combination study with inhibitors most widely used in anti-HCV treatment regimen demonstrated that TF3 exerts additive effect. In conclusion, theaflavins, that are present in high quantity in black tea, are new inhibitors of HCV entry and hold promise for developing in therapeutic arsenal for HCV infection.