Andrographolide suppresses SARS-CoV-2 infection by downregulating ACE2 expression: A mechanistic study


Antivir Ther. 2024 Jun;29(3):13596535241259952. doi: 10.1177/13596535241259952.


Angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is the receptor that enables SARS-CoV-2 to invade host cells. Previous studies have reported that reducing ACE2 expression may have an anti-SARS-CoV-2 effect. In this study, we constructed a pGL4.10-F2-ACE2 vector with double luciferase genes (firefly and Renilla luciferase) under the control of the ACE2 promoter and used it to screen compounds from Chinese traditional medicinal herbs (CTMHs) that can inhibit ACE2 transcription in human cells. We transfected HEK293T cells with pGL4.10-F2-ACE2 and treated them with CTMH compounds and then measured fluorescence to evaluate the indirect inhibition of ACE2 transcription. Out of 37 compounds tested, andrographolide demonstrated a dose-dependent inhibition of ACE2 transcription. We further confirmed by RT-qPCR and Western blot assays that andrographolide also reduced ACE2 expression in BEAS-2B cells in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, pseudovirus infection assays in BEAS-2B cells demonstrated that andrographolide can inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection in a dose-dependent manner. These results suggest that andrographolide has potential anti-SARS-CoV-2 activity and could be a candidate drug for COVID-19 prevention and treatment.

PMID:38873947 | DOI:10.1177/13596535241259952