In Vitro Antiviral Activity of Tyrosinase from Mushroom Agaricus bisporus against Hepatitis C Virus



Tyrosinases from a commercial Agaricus bisporus protein extract and directly isolated from white mushrooms were purified in order to obtaining the well-known tyrosinase from A. bisporus (TyrAB) of 45 kDa and a newly discovered 50 kDa tyrosinase isoform (Tyr50 kDa), and tested showing high antiviral activity against the hepatitis C virus for the first time. Cell toxicity and antiviral activity of tyrosinases were determined in cultured Huh 5-2 liver tumor cells transfected with a replicon system (a plasmid that includes all non-structural hepatitis C virus proteins and replicates autonomously). TyrAB was able to inhibit the replication of the hepatitis C virus without inducing toxicity in liver cells. In addition, the post-translational isoform Tyr50 kDa showed higher antiviral capacity than the former (up to 10 times greater), also exhibiting 10 times higher activity than the commercial drug Ribavirin®. This antiviral activity was directly proportional to the enzymatic activity of tyrosinases, as no antiviral capacity was observed in the inactive form of the enzymes. The tyrosinases approach could represent a new antiviral inhibition mechanism, through a plausible catalytic mechanism of selective hydroxylation of the key role of tyrosine residues in viral proteases.