COVID-19 pandemic results in record high deaths in many countries. Although a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 is now available, effective antiviral drugs to treat coronavirus diseases are not available yet. Recently, EGCG, a green tea polyphenol, was reported to inhibit SARS-CoV-2 3CL-protease, however the effect of EGCG on coronavirus replication is unknown. In this report, human coronavirus HCoV-OC43 (beta coronavirus) and HCoV-229E (alpha coronavirus) were used to examine the effect of EGCG on coronavirus. EGCG treatment decreases 3CL-protease activity of HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-229E. Moreover, EGCG treatment decreased HCoV-OC43-induced cytotoxicity. Finally, we found that EGCG treatment decreased the levels of coronavirus RNA and protein in infected cell media. These results indicate that EGCG inhibits coronavirus replication.
Keywords: 3CL-protease; Coronavirus; EGCG; HCoV-229E; HCoV-OC43.
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