Synergic effect of curcumin and its structural analogue (Monoacetylcurcumin) on anti-influenza virus infection

J Food Drug Anal. 2018 Jul;26(3):1015-1023. doi: 10.1016/j.jfda.2017.12.006. Epub 2018 Feb 2.


Curcumin (Cur), a polyphenolic compound extracted from spice and common food colourant turmeric, contains versatile bio-activities. Monoacetylcurcumin (MAC), a structural analogue of Cur, differs from Cur by acetyl modification, but retains enone groups. Comparative analysis revealed MAC effectively inhibited influenza virus infection (IAV) to a similar extent as, if not superior to, curcumin. Both compounds mildly reduced viral NA activity. Surprisingly, unlike Cur, the MAC inhibition of IAV did not occur through the blocking of HA activity. However, MAC strongly dampened Akt phosphorylation, the prerequisite signalling for efficient IAV propagation. A much stronger inhibition effect on IAV infection was observed when MAC treatment was in combination with Cur. Collectively, MAC demonstrated clear antiviral activity, and likely inhibited IAV via multiple mechanisms that were not identical to Cur. Importantly, Cur and MAC in combination synergistically inhibited IAV infection.

Keywords: Antiviral; Curcumin; Haemagglutinin; Influenza virus; Synergic.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Curcumin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Curcumin / chemistry
  • Curcumin / pharmacology*
  • Dogs
  • Drug Synergism
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / drug effects*
  • Influenza A virus / genetics
  • Influenza A virus / physiology
  • Influenza, Human / drug therapy
  • Influenza, Human / genetics
  • Influenza, Human / metabolism
  • Influenza, Human / virology*
  • Madin Darby Canine Kidney Cells
  • Phosphorylation
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / genetics
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt / metabolism
  • Virus Replication / drug effects


  • Antiviral Agents
  • monoacetylcurcumin
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-akt
  • Curcumin