Sabadinine, Houttuynia Cordata, and Coronaviruses

Sabadinine and Houttuynia Cordata

(From Potential Antiviral Agents for Coronaviruses: Compounds, Herbal Products, and Drug Targets)

  • The replication of CoVs relies on proteolytic processing (Toney et al., 2004).
  • The major proteinase, 3C-like protease (3CLpro), may become a target for anti-SARS drugs.
  • A study used molecular docking into the active site of 3CLpro, looking for non-peptidyl inhibitors (Toney et al., 2004).
  • A potential antiviral compound was found to be sabadinine extracted from a natural herb (Toney et al., 2004).
  • Moreover, Houttuynia cordata Thunb. (Saururaceae)(HC) is an herb that has been used to treat pneumonia (Lau et al., 2008).
  • HC water extract enhanced the proportions of CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells.
  • It may promote the production of IL-2 and IL-10 by mouse splenic lymphocytes (Lau et al., 2008).
  • HC may also inhibit 3CLpro and RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of SARS-CoV.
  • Oral acute toxicity tests showed that HC was non-toxic for oral administration (Lau et al., 2008).
  • HC extracts may be useful for the development of antiviral agents for SARS.


Lau, K.-M., Lee, K.-M., Koon, C.-M., Cheung, C. S.-F., Lau, C.-P., Ho, H.-M., Lee, M. Y.-H., Au, S. W.-N., Cheng, C. H.-K., Lau, C. B.-S., Tsui, S. K.-W., Wan, D. C.-C., Waye, M. M.-Y., Wong, K.-B., Wong, C.-K., Lam, C. W.-K., Leung, P.-C., & Fung, K.-P. (2008). Immunomodulatory and anti-SARS activities of Houttuynia cordata. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 118(1), 79–85.

Toney, J. H., Navas-Martín, S., Weiss, S. R., & Koeller, A. (2004). Sabadinine: A potential non-peptide anti-severe acute-respiratory-syndrome agent identified using structure-aided design. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 47(5), 1079–1080.

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