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Amentoflavone from Chinese medicinal herbs protects against cell-disrupting bacterial toxin


In this study, researchers at Jilin University in China investigated the ability of amentoflavone (AMF) to reduce the hemolytic and cytotoxic effects of pneumolysin (PLY). Their findings were published in the journal Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin.

  • PLY is a harmful bacterial protein produced by Streptococcus pneumoniae, a well-known and widespread human pathogen.
  • PLY is said to puncture the cell membrane, which leads to pathological reactions, such as cell disruption and inflammation.
  • Medications that can antagonize this toxin are considered to be beneficial for the treatment of bacterial infections.
  • AMF is a phytochemical extracted from traditional Chinese herbs.
  • According to previous studies, AMF has multiple pharmacological properties but its effects on PLY-induced cell toxicity have not been explored.
  • Using A549 human lung epithelial cells, the researchers tested the effect of AMF on PLY-induced hemolysis and cytotoxicity in vitro.
  • They also used mice to determine the effect of AMF on lung injury caused by S. pneumoniae infection.
  • The researchers found that AMF interacts with PLY at Ser254, Glu277 and Arg359 and effectively weakens the oligomerization of the wild-type toxin.
  • AMF also provides considered protection against PLY-mediated lung damage.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that AMF from Chinese medicinal herbs can be used to treat PLY-induced cell injury.

Journal Reference:

Zhao X, Liu B, Liu S, Wang L, Wang J. ANTICYTOTOXIN EFFECTS OF AMENTOFLAVONE TO PNEUMOLYSIN. Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin. 2017;40(1):61–67. DOI: 10.1248/bpb.b16-00598

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