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Mar. Drugs 2012, 10(7), 1476-1497; doi:10.3390/md10071476
Review

Algal Lectins as Potential HIV Microbicide Candidates

*  and
Rega Institute for Medical Research, KU Leuven, Minderbroedersstraat 10, B-3000 Leuven, Belgium
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2012 / Revised: 22 June 2012 / Accepted: 29 June 2012 / Published: 10 July 2012
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Abstract

The development and use of topical microbicides potentially offers an additional strategy to reduce the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Carbohydrate-binding agents (CBAs) that show specificity for high mannose carbohydrates on the surface of the heavily glycosylated envelope of HIV are endowed with potent anti-HIV activity. In fact, a number of algal lectins such as cyanovirin-N, microvirin, microcystis viridis lectin, scytovirin, Oscillatoria agardhii agglutinin and griffithsin are considered as potential microbicide candidates to prevent the sexual transmission of HIV through topical applications. They not only inhibit infection of cells by cell-free virus but they can also efficiently prevent virus transmission from virus-infected cells to uninfected CD4+ target T-lymphocytes and DC-SIGN-directed capture of HIV-1 and transmission to CD4+ T lymphocytes. This review focuses on the structural properties and carbohydrate specificity of these algal lectins, their antiviral activity against HIV and several other enveloped viruses, their safety profile and viral resistance patterns.
Keywords: algae; lectin; carbohydrate-binding agents; HIV; virus entry; gp120 envelope; microbicide algae; lectin; carbohydrate-binding agents; HIV; virus entry; gp120 envelope; microbicide
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Huskens, D.; Schols, D. Algal Lectins as Potential HIV Microbicide Candidates. Mar. Drugs 2012, 10, 1476-1497.

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