The Ethyl Acetate Subfraction of Polygonum cuspidatum Root Containing Emodin Affect EBV Gene Expression and Induce EBV-Positive Cells Apoptosis

Biol Pharm Bull. 2021 Dec 1;44(12):1837-1842. doi: 10.1248/bpb.b21-00508. Epub 2021 Oct 6.


Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a human herpesvirus, is several human lymphoid malignancies-associated. Our earlier study found the effect of Polygonum cuspidatum root on promoting EBV-positive apoptosis. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of the Polygonum cuspidatum ethyl acetate subfraction containing emodin on EBV gene expression and anti-EBV tumor cells. Resultantly, the the Polygonum cuspidatum ethyl acetate subfraction containing emodin (F3a) promoted Raji cell death (50% cytotoxic concentration, CC50: 12.08 µg/mL); the 12.5 µg/mL F3a effect transcribed BRLF1 and BNLF1 and increased latent membrane protein 1 (LMP1), which may reduce the intracellular phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and phospho-inhibitor of Nuclear factor kappa B α (IκBα). Meanwhile, the Raji cells increased the intracellular reactive-oxygen species (ROS), activated the apoptosis-related proteins, cleaved caspase 3 and poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP), and increased the apoptosis percentage. Therefore, the Polygonum cuspidatum ethyl acetate subfraction containing emodin could be a therapeutic drug for EBV-related tumors.

Keywords: Epstein-Barr virus; Polygonum cuspidatum; emodin; latent membrane protein 1.

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic / therapeutic use
  • Apoptosis
  • Burkitt Lymphoma / virology
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Emodin / pharmacology*
  • Emodin / therapeutic use
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / complications
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / metabolism*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Infections / virology
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases / metabolism
  • Fallopia japonica / chemistry*
  • Gene Expression
  • Herpesvirus 4, Human / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha / metabolism
  • NF-kappa B / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / virology*
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plant Extracts / therapeutic use
  • Plant Roots / chemistry
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1 / metabolism
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism*


  • Antineoplastic Agents, Phytogenic
  • EBV-associated membrane antigen, Epstein-Barr virus
  • NF-kappa B
  • Plant Extracts
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • NF-KappaB Inhibitor alpha
  • PARP1 protein, human
  • Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase-1
  • Extracellular Signal-Regulated MAP Kinases
  • Emodin