Ellagic acid & gallic acid from Lagerstroemia speciosa L. inhibit HIV-1 infection through inhibition of HIV-1 protease & reverse transcriptase activity

Indian J Med Res. 2013 Mar;137(3):540-8.


Background & objectives: Banaba (Lagerstroemia speciosa L.) extracts have been used as traditional medicines and are effective in controlling diabetes and obesity. The aim of this study was to evaluate the anti-HIV property of the extracts prepared from the leaves and stems of banaba, and further purification and characterization of the active components.

Methods: Aqueous and 50 per cent ethanolic extracts were prepared from leaves and stems of banaba and were evaluated for cytotoxicity and anti-HIV activity using in vitro reporter gene based assays. Further, three compounds were isolated from the 50 per cent ethanolic extract of banaba leaves using silica gel column chromatography and characterization done by HPLC, NMR and MS analysis. To delineate the mode of action of the active compounds, reverse transcriptase assay and protease assay were performed using commercially available kits.

Results: All the extracts showed a dose dependent inhibition of HIV-1-infection in TZM-bl and CEM-GFP cell lines with a maximum from the 50 per cent ethanolic extract from leaves (IC 50 = 1 to 25 μg/ml). This observation was confirmed by the virus load (p24) estimation in infected CEM-GFP cells when treated with the extracts. Gallic acid showed an inhibition in reverse transcriptase whereas ellagic acid inhibited the HIV-1 protease activity.

Interpretation & conclusions: The present study shows a novel anti-HIV activity of banaba. The active components responsible for anti-HIV activity were gallic acid and ellagic acid, through inhibition of reverse transcriptase and HIV protease, respectively and hence could be regarded as promising candidates for the development of topical anti-HIV-1 agents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Ellagic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Ellagic Acid / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / administration & dosage
  • Gallic Acid / administration & dosage*
  • Gallic Acid / chemistry
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / enzymology
  • HIV Infections / pathology
  • HIV Infections / virology
  • HIV Protease / metabolism
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • HIV-1 / drug effects*
  • HIV-1 / enzymology
  • Humans
  • Lagerstroemia / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage
  • Plant Extracts / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Plant Extracts
  • Ellagic Acid
  • Gallic Acid
  • reverse transcriptase, Human immunodeficiency virus 1
  • HIV Reverse Transcriptase
  • HIV Protease
  • p16 protease, Human immunodeficiency virus 1