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J Med Primatol. 2007 Aug;36(4-5):244-53.

Griffithsin, a potent HIV entry inhibitor, is an excellent candidate for anti-HIV microbicide.

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Washington National Primate Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.



The predominant mode of HIV-1 transmission is by heterosexual contact. The cervical/vaginal mucosa is the main port of HIV entry in women. A safe and effective topical microbicide against HIV is urgently needed to prevent sexual transmission. Hence, we evaluated griffithsin (GRFT), a 12.7 kDa carbohydrate-binding protein, both native and recombinant GRFT, potently inhibited both CXCR4-and CCR5-tropic HIV infection and transmission in vitro.


The antiviral efficacy of native and recombinant GRFT against CXCR4-and CCR5-tropic HIV and SHIV strains and SIVmac251 was evaluated by in vitro assays. We also evaluated the time course of antiviral activity and stability of GRFT in cervical/vaginal lavage as a function of pH 4-8.


Griffithsin blocked CXCR4-and CCR5-tropic viruses at less than 1 nm concentrations and exhibited a high potency. GRFT was stable in cervical/vaginal lavage fluid and maintained a similar potency of anti-HIV activity. GRFT is not only a highly potent HIV entry inhibitor, but also prevents cell fusion and cell-to-cell transmission of HIV.


The in vitro efficacy of GRFT revealed low cytotoxicity, high potency, rapid onset of antiviral activity and long-term stability in cervical/vaginal lavage. GRFT is an excellent candidate for anti-HIV microbicide development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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