New Pathways of Influenza Virus Replication and Possible Inhibition by Natural Products

New Pathways of Influenza Virus Replication and Possible Inhibition by Natural Products

The Durk Pearson & Sandy Shaw
Life Extension News
Volume 12 No. 3, June 2009

Although with the onset of summer, influenza incidence is sure to decline, the next winter it could be back with a vengeance. New research continues to elucidate the various steps in the influenza A virus life cycle, pointing the way to methods to interfere with it. (H1N1 swine flu is a type of influenza A.)

A new paper1 reports that highly pathogenic influenza A virus strains are known to cause hyperactivation of p38MAPK. Influenza A infection has been found to trigger several MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase) pathways in host cells, “which reportedly promotes vRNP [viral ribonucleoprotein capsids] traffic and virus production.”1 The paper reports observations of a highly complex interaction between Bcl-2 expression (Bcl-2, when expressed, suppresses apoptosis) and p38MAPK. The bottom line, as summed up by the authors, was that “[t]he fact that a cellular kinase like p38MAPK is involved in both influenza virus replication and virally induced apoptosis has intriguing implications for the development of novel anti-influenza strategies aimed at limiting both the acute respiratory effects of influenza and its potential neurological complications.”

Resveratrol, Vitamin C, and Quercetin Can Inhibit p38MAPK a Possible Mechanism for Their Viral Protective Effects

The authors of the paper reported above described earlier work2 in which they observed that resveratrol reduced nuclear vRNP export by inhibiting, among other signaling pathways, p38 MAPK. Moreover, in another paper,3 researchers reported that vitamin C inhibited p53 induced replicative senescence by suppressing reactive oxygen species and p38MAPK activity. Quercetin has also been reported to inhibit the expression of p38 MAPK in human mast cells.4
We designed and take daily a selection of nutrients as a viral shield that includes (among others) resveratrol, quercetin, and vitamin C, to help protect ourselves against viruses.


  1. Nencioni et al. Bcl-2 expression and p38MAPK activity in cells infected with influenza A virus. J Biol Chem 284(23):16004-15 (2009).
  2. Palamara et al. Inhibition of influenza A virus replication by resveratrol. J Infect Dis 191:1719-29 (2005).
  3. Kim et al. Vitamin C inhibits p53-induced replicative senescence through suppression of ROS production and p38MAPK activity. Int J Mol Med 22(5):651-5 (2008).
  4. Min et al. Quercetin inhibits expression of inflammatory cytokines through attenuation of NF-kappaB and p38MAPK in HMC-1 human mast cells. Inflamm Res 56:210-15 (2007).