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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 132-140

Phytochemical analysis of Berberis lyceum methanolic extract and its antiviral activity through the restoration of MAPK signaling pathway modulated by HCV NS5A

1 Laboratory of Applied and Functional Genomic, Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan
2 Department of Biosciences, COMSATS University Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan
3 Quality Operations Laboratory, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan
4 Laboratory of Animal Biology and Physiology, Faculty of Science, University of Douala, Douala, Cameroon

Correspondence Address:
Bushra Ijaz
Laboratory of Applied and Functional Genomic, Centre of Excellence in Molecular Biology, University of the Punjab, Lahore
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Source of Support: This research was supported by the CEMB-TWAS Postgraduate Fellowship (FR number: 3240286682, 2015) granted to Mr. Koloko Brice Landry, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2221-1691.306133

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Objective: To evaluate the antiviral activity and phytochemicals of selected plant extracts and their effect on the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway modulated by hepatitis C virus (HCV) nonstructural protein 5A (NS5A). Methods: A total of ten plant extracts were initially screened for their toxicities against HepG2 cells. The non-toxic plants were tested for their inhibitory effect on the expression of HCV NS5A at both mRNA and protein levels using real-time PCR and Western blotting assays, respectively. The differential expression of the genes associated with MAPK pathway in the presence of NS5A gene and plant extract was measured through real-time PCR. Subsequently, the identification of secondary metabolites was carried out by phytochemical and HPLC analysis. Results: The phytochemical profiling of Berberis lyceum revealed the presence of alkaloids, phenols, saponins, tannins, flavonoids, carbohydrates, terpenoids, steroids, and glycosides. Similarly, quercetin, myricetin, gallic acid, caffeic acid, and ferulic acid were identified through HPLC analysis. The methanolic extract of Berberis lyceum strongly inhibited HCV RNA replication with an IC50 of 11.44 µg/mL. RT-PCR and Western blotting assays showed that the extract reduced the expression of HCV NS5A in a dose- dependent manner. Berberis lyceum extract also attenuated NS5A- induced dysregulation of the MAPK signaling pathway. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that Berberis lyceum extract strongly inhibits HCV propagation by reducing HCV NS5A- induced perturbation of MAPK signaling.

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