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Curcumin and turmeric extract inhibited SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus cell entry and Spike mediated cell fusion

Septisetyani et al., bioRxiv, doi:10.1101/2023.09.28.560070
Sep 2023  
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In Vitro study showing that curcumin inhibits SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus cell entry and syncytia formation at 1-10μM in cells overexpressing ACE2 and TMPRSS2. Authors find that both curcumin and turmeric extract are potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 infection at cell entry, with direct or indirect infection models.
Septisetyani et al., 29 Sep 2023, preprint, 7 authors.
In Vitro studies are an important part of preclinical research, however results may be very different in vivo.
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Curcumin and turmeric extract inhibited SARS-CoV-2 pseudovirus cell entry and Spike mediated cell fusion
Dr Endah Puji Puji Septisetyani, Dinda Lestari, Komang Alit Paramitasari, Pekik Wiji Prasetyaningrum, Ria Fajarwati Kastian, Adi Santoso, Kartini Eriani
Turmeric extract (TE) with curcumin as its main active ingredient has been studied as a potential COVID-19 therapeutic. Curcumin has been studied in silico and in vitro against a naive SARS-CoV-2 virus, yet little is known about TE's impact on SARS-CoV-2 infection. Moreover, no study reveals the potentials of both curcumin and TE on the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 cell-to-cell transmission. Here, we investigated the effects of both curcumin and TE on the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 entry and cell-to-cell transmission using pseudovirus (PSV) and syncytia models. We performed PSV entry assay in 293T or 293 cells expressing hACE2. The cells were pretreated with curcumin or TE, then treated with PSV with or without the test samples. Next, we carried out syncytia assay by co-transfecting 293T cells with plasmids encoding Spike, hACE2, and TMPRSS2 to be treated with the test samples. The results showed that in PSV entry assay on 293T/hACE/TMPRSS2 cells, both curcumin and TE inhibited PSV entry at concentrations of 1 µM and 10 µM for curcumin and 1 µg/ml and 10 µg/ml for TE. Moreover, both curcumin and TE also reduced syncytia formation compared to control cells. Based on our study, both TE and curcumin are potential inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 infection at entry points, either by direct or indirect infection models.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST The authors declared no potential conflict of interests.
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