Yucca leaf protein (YLP) stops the protein synthesis in HSV-infected cells and inhibits virus replication

Antiviral Res. 1992 Apr;17(4):323-33. doi: 10.1016/0166-3542(92)90027-3.


Yucca leaf protein (YLP), an inhibitor of tobacco mosaic virus isolated from the leaves of Yucca recurvifolia Salisb., exhibited potent activity against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) with no cytotoxicity below 300 micrograms/ml. The inhibitory dose was varied with the time of addition; 50% effective concentrations (ED50) of YLP were 3, 19 and 95 micrograms/ml when YLP exposure was begun 3 h before virus infection, 0 h and 3 h after infection, respectively. This protein also inhibited the multiplication of herpes simplex virus type 2 and human cytomegalovirus. YLP has been shown to have a weak virucidal activity at higher concentrations. Analysis of early events following infection showed that YLP affected viral penetration in HeLa cells but did not interfere with adsorption to the cells. YLP was found to exert strong inhibition of protein synthesis in virus-infected cells but not in uninfected cells. This selective effect can be considered to attribute mainly to the antiviral activity of YLP.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Antiviral Agents / toxicity
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Humans
  • Plant Proteins / pharmacology*
  • Plant Proteins / toxicity
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Simplexvirus / drug effects*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Plant Proteins