9-Benzyl-3-methylene-1,5-di-p-toluenesulfonyl-1,5,9-triazacyclododecane (CADA) has been identified as a novel antiviral lead compound with significant anti-human immunodeficiency virus and anti-human herpesvirus 7 activity. Surprisingly, this compound selectively decreased the expression of the CD4 glycoprotein, the primary receptor needed for the entry of both viruses. Herein, we describe the CD4 down-modulating and antiviral potencies of more than 25 CADA derivatives. Flow cytometric evaluation of cellular CD4 receptor expression in T cells demonstrated the specific CD4 down-modulating capacity of the CADA derivatives, with IC(50) values similar to those obtained in the antiviral assays. The close correlation observed between the CD4 down-regulating and anti-HIV potencies of the CADA derivatives further points to CD4 receptor down-modulation as the primary mode of antiviral action for this group of compounds.