The effect of Astragalus polysaccharide on the Epstein-Barr virus lytic cycle

Acta Virol. 2014;58(1):76-80. doi: 10.4149/av_2014_01_76.


Effects of a polysacharide from Chinese herbal plant Astragalus membranaceus (APS) on the expression of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) immediate early proteins Zta, Rta and EA-D in Raji cells were examined. EBV switch from latent to lytic cycle in Raji cells was induced by 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate (TPA) and sorbol butyrate (SB) and the effects of APS were examined by immunofluorescence, western blotting and flow cytometry. APS in a non-cytotoxic concentration of 30 μg/ml significantly suppressed the expression of Zta, Rta and EA-D during the EBV lytic cycle. Our observations indicate that APS is potentially useful as an anti-EBV drug.

Keywords: Astragalus polysaccharide; Epstein-Barr virus; anti-EBV drug..

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Astragalus Plant / chemistry*
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Viral / drug effects
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Immediate-Early Proteins / genetics
  • Immediate-Early Proteins / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / pharmacology*
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Immediate-Early Proteins
  • Polysaccharides