Potent anti-HIV activities and mechanisms of action of a pine cone extract from Pinus yunnanensis

Molecules. 2012 Jun 6;17(6):6916-29. doi: 10.3390/molecules17066916.


The anti-HIV activities of a pine cone extract (YNS-PY-F) from Pinus yunnanensis have been evaluated, and its mechanisms of action were also explored. The pine cone extract, YNS-PY-F, potently inhibited HIV-1(IIIB), HIV-1(RF), HIV-1(A17), HIV-1(AO18) and HIV-2(ROD) and induced cytopathic effect in C8166 cells with EC₅₀ values of 0.96 μg/mL, 1.53 μg/mL, 0.88 μg/mL, 7.20 μg/mL and 6.17 μg/mL, respectively. The quantification of a p24 production assay showed that YNS-PY-F significantly inhibited the acute replication of HIV-1(IIIB), HIV-1RF, HIV-1(A17) and HIV-1(AO18) in C8166 cells. An MTT assay showed that YNS-PY-F also significantly inhibited the HIV-1(IIIB) induced cytolysis in MT-4 cells with an EC₅₀ value of 2.22 μg/mL. The mechanism assays showed that YNS-PY-F had potent inhibitory effects on the fusion between infected cells and uninfected cells, and the activity of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase, with EC₅₀ values of 7.60 μg/mL and 4.60 μg/mL, respectively. Overall, these data suggest that the pine cone extract from Pinus yunnanensis has potent inhibitory activities against HIV-1(IIIB), HIV-1(RF), RT inhibitor-resistant strains HIV-1(A17) and HIV-1(AO18), and HIV-2(ROD), and its anti-HIV mechanisms include inhibition of HIV entry and inhibition of reverse transcriptase activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-HIV Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-HIV Agents / pharmacology*
  • Anti-HIV Agents / toxicity
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Chemokine CXCL12 / metabolism
  • HIV Integrase / metabolism
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • HIV-1 / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Microbial Sensitivity Tests
  • Pinus / chemistry*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / toxicity
  • Protein Transport
  • Receptors, CXCR4 / metabolism
  • Virus Internalization / drug effects


  • Anti-HIV Agents
  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptors, CXCR4
  • HIV Integrase
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase