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J Clin Microbiol. 1995 Aug;33(8):2054-7.

Inactivation of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 by the amine oxidase-peroxidase system.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.


Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is rapidly inactivated by exposure to a naturally occurring antimicrobial system consisting of peroxidase, H2O2, and a halide. Among the potential sources of H2O2 is the amine oxidase system in which mono-, di-, and polyamines are oxidatively deaminated with the formation of H2O2. The polyamine spermine is present at exceptionally high concentrations in semen. We report here that spermine, spermidine, and, to a lesser degree, the synthetic polyamine 15-deoxyspergualin are viricidal to HIV-1 when combined with amine oxidase and myeloperoxidase. Antiviral activity required each component of the spermine-amine oxidase-peroxidase system and was inhibited by azide (a peroxidase inhibitor) and by catalase but not by superoxide dismutase. Heat treatment of catalase largely abolished its inhibitory effect. These findings implicate H2O2 formed by the amine oxidase system in the antiviral effect and raise the possibility that the polyamine-amine oxidase-peroxidase system influences the survival of HIV-1 in semen and in the vaginal canal.

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