Journal of Biological Chemistry vol:285 issue:32 pages:24845-24854
Microvirin (MVN), a recently isolated lectin from the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa PCC7806, shares 33% identity with the potent anti-human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) protein cyanovirin-N (CV-N) isolated from Nostoc ellipsosporum, and both lectins bind to similar carbohydrate structures. MVN is able to inhibit infection by a wide variety of HIV-1 laboratory-adapted strains and clinical isolates of different tropisms and subtypes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. MVN also inhibits syncytium formation between persistently HIV-1-infected T cells and uninfected CD4(+) T cells and inhibits DC-SIGN-mediated HIV-1 binding and transmission to CD4(+) T cells. Long term passaging of HIV-1 exposed to dose-escalating concentrations of MVN resulted in the selection of a mutant virus with four deleted high mannose-type glycans in the envelope gp120. The MVN-resistant virus was still highly sensitive to various other carbohydrate binding lectins (e.g. CV-N, HHA, GNA, and UDA) but not anymore to the carbohydrate-specific 2G12 monoclonal antibody. Importantly, MVN is more than 50-fold less cytotoxic than CV-N. Also in sharp contrast to CV-N, MVN did not increase the level of the activation markers CD25, CD69, and HLA-DR in CD4(+) T lymphocytes, and subsequently, MVN did not enhance viral replication in pretreated peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Therefore, MVN may qualify as a useful lectin for potential microbicidal use based on its broad and potent antiviral activity and virtual lack of any stimulatory properties and cellular toxicity.