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Dev Biol (Basel). 2000;102:141-8.

Properties of cyanovirin-N (CV-N): inactivation of HIV-1 by sessile cyanovirin-N (sCV-N).

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, USA.


Cyanovirin-N (CV-N) is a novel anti-HIV protein isolated and characterized from a cyanobacterium Nostoc ellipsosporum. CV-N protein is a single 101 amino acid chain containing two intrachain disulphide bonds and considerable internal sequence duplication, but no significant homology to previously described proteins or to the transcription products of known nucleotide sequences. In solution, CV-N exists largely as a beta-sheet protein with internal two-fold pseudosymmetry. CV-N irreversibly inactivates diverse laboratory strains, primary isolates and clades of HIV-1, as well as strains of HIV-2 and simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV). CV-N binds with extremely high affinity to highly conserved binding site(s) on the viral envelope glycoprotein gp120, preventing virus-to-cell fusion, viral entry and infection of cells. The CV-N binding site appears to overlap, but is not identical with, the unique carbohydrate-dependent epitope 2G12, and may lie predominantly within an immunologically "silent" region of gp120. CV-N is undergoing preclinical development for topical anti-HIV prophylactic (e.g., microbicidal) applications to prevent sexual transmission of HIV. Since CV-N may be immunogenic in humans, methods for using CV-N for ex vivo inactivation of HIV in blood, plasma, or putative vaccines preferably would allow for its exclusion from biologicals for parenteral use. To explore this concept we biotinylated CV-N (bCV-N) and coupled it to streptavidin coated magnetic beads to provide a product which we termed sessile CV-N (sCV-N). When reacted with a laboratory strain and a primary isolate of HIV- 1, the sCV-N completely inactivated 100 TCID50 of the virus. However RT-PCR of the viral extracts indicated that only a fraction of the virus was removed by the sCV-N, leaving behind a relatively larger fraction of non-infectious virus in the supernatant which we designated as replication incompetent virions (RIV). It would be worthwhile investigating the role of RIV as a putative HIV vaccine.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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