Inhibition of reverse transcriptases by flavonoids

Antiviral Res. 1989 Sep;12(2):99-110. doi: 10.1016/0166-3542(89)90073-9.


Selected naturally occurring flavonoids were shown to inhibit three reverse transcriptases (RT): avian myeloblastosis (AMV) RT, Rous-associated virus-2 (RAV-2) RT and Maloney murine leukemia virus (MMLV) RT when poly (rA)oligo(dT)12-18 or rabbit globin mRNA were used as template. Amentoflavone, scutellarein and quercetin were the most active compounds and their effect was concentration-dependent. The enzymes exhibited differential sensitivity to the inhibitory effects of the flavonoids. The compounds also inhibited rabbit globin mRNA-directed, MMLV RT-catalyzed DNA synthesis. Amentoflavone and scutellarein inhibited ongoing new DNA synthesis catalyzed by RAV-2 RT. Kinetic studies were performed in an attempt to elucidate the mechanism of action of amentoflavone and scutellarein. A model is proposed for the mechanism of action of the flavonoids on RT activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Avian Leukosis Virus / enzymology
  • Avian Myeloblastosis Virus / enzymology
  • Biflavonoids*
  • Flavanones*
  • Flavonoids / pharmacology*
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Structure
  • Moloney murine leukemia virus / enzymology
  • Quercetin / pharmacology*
  • Retroviridae / enzymology*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors*


  • Biflavonoids
  • Flavanones
  • Flavonoids
  • Reverse Transcriptase Inhibitors
  • amentoflavone
  • Quercetin
  • scutellarein