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Astersaponin I from Aster koraiensis is a natural viral fusion blocker that inhibits the infection of SARS-CoV-2 variants and syncytium formation

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Title
Astersaponin I from Aster koraiensis is a natural viral fusion blocker that inhibits the infection of SARS-CoV-2 variants and syncytium formation
Author(s)
Tai Young Kim; Kim, Ji-Young; Kwon, Hak Cheol; Jeon, Sangeun; Sol ji Lee; Haejin Jung; Kim, Seungtaek; Jang, Dae Sik; C Justin Lee
Publication Date
2022-12
Journal
Antiviral Research, v.208
Publisher
Elsevier B.V.
Abstract
© 2022 Elsevier B.V.The continuous emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants prolongs COVID-19 pandemic. Although SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and therapeutics are currently available, there is still a need for development of safe and effective drugs against SARS-CoV-2 and also for preparedness for the next pandemic. Here, we discover that astersaponin I (AI), a triterpenoid saponin in Aster koraiensis inhibits SARS-CoV-2 entry pathways at the plasma membrane and within the endosomal compartments mainly by increasing cholesterol content in the plasma membrane and interfering with the fusion of SARS-CoV-2 envelope with the host cell membrane. Moreover, we find that this functional property of AI as a fusion blocker enables it to inhibit the infection with SARS-CoV-2 variants including the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Omicron with a similar efficacy, and the formation of syncytium, a multinucleated cells driven by SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-mediated cell-to-cell fusion. Finally, we claim that the triterpene backbone as well as the attached hydrophilic sugar moieties of AI are structurally important for its inhibitory activity against the membrane fusion event. Overall, this study demonstrates that AI is a natural viral fusion inhibitor and proposes that it can be a broad-spectrum antiviral agent against current COVID-19 pandemic and future outbreaks of novel viral pathogens.
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/12508
DOI
10.1016/j.antiviral.2022.105428
ISSN
0166-3542
Appears in Collections:
Center for Cognition and Sociality(인지 및 사회성 연구단) > 1. Journal Papers (저널논문)
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