The anti-SARS-CoV-2 effect and mechanism of Chiehyuan herbal oral protection solution

Ching Yuan Wu*, Yao Hsu Yang, Yu Shih Lin, Li Hsin Shu, Yu Ching Cheng, Hung Te Liu, Yin Yin Lin, I. Yun Lee, Wei Tai Shih, Pei Rung Yang, Ying Ying Tsai, Geng He Chang, Cheng Ming Hsu, Reming Albert Yeh, Yu Huei Wu, Yu Heng Wu, Rou Chen Shen, Ming Shao Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Chiehyuan herbal oral protection solution (GB-2) is a herbal mixture commonly utilized in Taiwan for combating severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as per traditional Chinese medicine practices. This study assessed the clinical impact of GB-2 through prospective clinical trials. With twice-daily use for a week, GB-2 was shown to diminish the expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in oral mucosal cells. Moreover, after two weeks of use, it could reduce transmembrane protease, serine 2 (TMRPSS2) expression in these cells. Additionally, in vitro experiments demonstrated that GB-2 lessened the entry efficiency of the Omicron, L452R–D614G, T478K–D614G, and L452R–T478K–D614G variants of the SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped lentivirus. It also impeded the interaction between ACE2 and the receptor-binding domain (RBD) presenting N501Y–K417N–E484A–G339D–Q493R–G496S–Q498R and L452R–T478K mutations. Glycyrrhizic acid, a major compound in GB-2, also hindered the entry of the Omicron variant (BA.1) of the SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped lentivirus by obstructing the binding between ACE2 and the RBD presenting the N501Y–K417N–E484A–G339D–Q493R–G496S–Q498R mutation. To sum up, these findings suggest that GB-2 can decrease ACE2 and TMPRSS2 expression in oral mucosal cells. Both glycyrrhizic acid and GB-2 were found to reduce the entry efficiency of the Omicron variant (BA.1) of the SARS-CoV-2 pseudotyped lentivirus and block the binding between ACE2 and the RBD with the N501Y–K417N–E484A–G339D–Q493R–G496S–Q498R mutation. This evidence implies that GB-2 might be a potential candidate for further study as a preventative measure against SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere17701
Pages (from-to)e17701
JournalHeliyon
Volume9
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - 07 2023

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Keywords

  • ACE2
  • Mouth washing
  • Omicron variant
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Spike protein
  • TMPRSS2

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