Nuphar lutea extracts exhibit anti-viral activity against the measles virus

Hila Winer, Janet Ozer, Yonat Shemer, Irit Reichenstein, Brit Eilam-Frenkel, Daniel Benharroch, Avi Golan-Goldhirsh, Jacob Gopas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Different parts of Nuphar lutea L. (yellow water lily) have been used to treat several inflammatory and pathogen-related diseases. It has shown that Nuphar lutea extracts (NUP) are active against various pathogens including bacteria, fungi, and leishmanial parasites. In an effort to detect novel therapeutic agents against negative-stranded RNA (- RNA) viruses, we have tested the effect of a partially-purified alkaloid mixture of Nuphar lutea leaves on the measles virus (MV). The MV vaccine’s Edmonston strain was used to acutely or persistently infect cells. The levels of several MV proteins were detected by a Western blot and immunocytochemistry. Viral RNAs were quantitated by qRT-PCR. Virus infectivity was monitored by infecting African green monkey kidney VERO cells’ monolayers. We showed that NUP protected cells from acute infection. Decreases in the MV P-, N-, and V-proteins were observed in persistently infected cells and the amount of infective virus released was reduced as compared to untreated cells. By examining viral RNAs, we suggest that NUP acts at the post-transcriptional level. We conclude, as a proof of concept, that NUP has anti-viral therapeutic activity against the MV. Future studies will determine the mechanism of action and the effect of NUP on other related viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1657
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • Anti-viral natural products
  • Herbal medicines
  • Measles virus
  • Nuphar lutea plant extract
  • Nupharidines

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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