Son M, Lee M, Ryu E, Moon A, Jeong CS, Jung YW, Park GH, Sung GH, Cho H, Kang H
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a ubiquitous gammaherpesvirus that causes acute infection and establishes life-long latency. EBV causes several human cancers, including Burkitt's lymphoma, nasopharyngeal and gastric carcinoma. Antiviral agents can be categorized as virucides, antiviral chemotherapeutic agents, and immunomodulators. Most antiviral agents affect actively replicating viruses, but not their latent forms. Novel antiviral agents must be active on both the replicating and the latent forms of the virus. Gardenia jasminoides is an evergreen flowering plant belonging to the Rubiaceae family and is most commonly found growing wild in Vietnam, Southern China, Taiwan, Japan, Myanmar, and India. Genipin is an aglycone derived from an iridoid glycoside called geniposide, which is present in large quantities in the fruit of G. jasminoides. In this study, genipin was evaluated for its role as an antitumor and antiviral agent that produces inhibitory effects against EBV and EBV associated gastric carcinoma (EBVaGC). In SNU719 cells, one of EBVaGCs, genipin caused significant cytotoxicity (70 μM), induced methylation on EBV C promoter and tumor suppressor gene BCL7A, arrested cell-cycle progress (S phases), upregulated EBV latent/lytic genes in a dose-dependent manner, stimulated EBV progeny production, activated EBV F promoter for EBV lytic activation, and suppressed EBV infection. These results indicated that genipin could be a promising candidate for antiviral and antitumor agents against EBV and EBVaGC.