Characterization of antiviral activity of a sesquiterpene, triptofordin C-2

J Antimicrob Chemother. 1996 Apr;37(4):759-68. doi: 10.1093/jac/37.4.759.


The activities of 13 sesquiterpenes isolated from Tripterygium wilfordii Hook fil. var. regelii Makino were studied against herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) in vitro. Among these compounds, only triptofordin C-2 showed a selectivity index of more than 10. The compound, which could also inhibit the replication of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), did not affect either adsorption or penetration of HSV-1 to host cells, but showed moderate virucidal activity against several enveloped viruses including HSV-1, HCMV, measles virus and influenza A virus. Triptofordin C-2 suppressed viral protein synthesis of infected cells when added at early steps of HSV-1 replication and exerted inhibition of translation of the transcripts of the immediate early genes. When acyclovir and triptofordin C-2 were evaluated in combination for antiviral activity against HSV-1 replication, additive antiviral effects were observed for this virus.

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / pharmacology
  • Adsorption / drug effects
  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology*
  • Cell Division / drug effects
  • Cell Line
  • Drug Interactions
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / pharmacology*
  • HeLa Cells / drug effects
  • HeLa Cells / virology
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Sesquiterpenes / isolation & purification
  • Sesquiterpenes / pharmacology*
  • Simplexvirus / drug effects*
  • Simplexvirus / physiology
  • Virus Replication / drug effects*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • Sesquiterpenes
  • triptofordin C 2
  • Acyclovir