Cyanovirin-N produced in rice endosperm offers effective pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV-1BaL infection in vitro
Krumpe, L. R. H.
Shattock, Robin J.
O’Keefe, Barry R.
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Cyanovirin-N (CV-N) is a lectin with potent antiviral activity that has been proposed as a component of microbicides for the prevention of infection with Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The production of protein-based microbicide components requires a platform that is sufficiently economical and scalable to meet the demands of the large at-risk population, particularly in resource poor developing countries. We, therefore, expressed CV-N in rice endosperm, because the dried seed is ideal for storage and transport and crude extracts could be prepared locally and used as a microbicide component without further purification. We found that crude extracts from rice seeds expressing up to 10 µg CV-N per gram dry seed weight showed dose-dependent gp120 binding activity, confirming that the protein was soluble, correctly folded and active. The recombinant lectin (OSCV-N) reduced the infectivity of HIV-1BaL (an R5 virus strain representing the majority of transmitted infections) by ~90 % but showed only weak neutralization activity against HIV-1RF (representative of X4 virus, rarely associated with transmission), suggesting it would be highly effective for pre-exposure prophylaxis against the vast majority of transmitted strains. Crude extracts expressing OSCV-N showed no toxicity towards human cells at working dilutions indicating that microbicide components produced in rice endosperm are safe for direct application as topical microbicides in humans.
Is part ofPlant Cell Reports, 2016, vol. 35, núm. 6, p. 1309-1319
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