Planta Med 1984; 50(6): 513-517
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-969786
Research Articles

© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Plant Antiviral Agents; VI.1 3-Methoxyflavones as Potent Inhibitors of Viral-Induced Block of Cell Synthesis

Lucia Van Hoof2 , Dirk A. Vanden Berghe2 , George M. Hatfield3 , Arnold J. Vlietinck2
  • 2Faculty of Medicine, University of Antwerp (U.I.A.), Universiteits-plein 1, B-2610 Antwerp, Belgium
  • 3College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109, U.S.A.
1 For the previous paper of this series see reference (5)
Further Information

Publication History

6 6 1984

7 2 1984

Publication Date:
26 February 2007 (online)


An investigation of the constituents responsible for the pronounced antiviral activity observed for extracts of Euphorbia grantii Oliv. stems has afforded four related 3-methoxyflavones exhibiting remarkable activities against picornaviruses and vesicular stomatitis virus. All compounds were found to be derivatives of 3-methylquercetin. The concentration of 3-methylquercetin (3-MQ) and 3,3′-dimethyl-quercetin (3,3′-DMQ) inhibiting 90 % of polio type 1 and coxsackie B4 viruses in tissue culture was about 0.01 µg/ml, whereas the 50 % cytotoxic concentration was 40 µg/ml. When administered intraperitoneally, 3-MQ protected mice from viremia and lethal infections from coxsac kie B4 virus at a daily dose of 20 mg/kg for a period of nine days. Biochemical studies on the mechanism of action of 3-MQ or 3,3′-DMQ on poliovirus replication suggested that these 3-methoxyflavones are able to protect the host cells from a viral induced shutdown of the cellular protein synthesis. Preliminary structure activity relationship studies have shown the 3-methoxyfunction of the flavones to be essential for the observed antiviral effects.