Pradimicin A (PRM-A), an antifungal nonpeptidic benzonaphtacenequinone antibiotic, is a low-molecular-weight (molecular weight, 838) carbohydrate binding agent (CBA) endowed with a selective inhibitory activity against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). It invariably inhibits representative virus strains of a variety of HIV-1 clades with X4 and R5 tropisms at nontoxic concentrations. Time-of-addition studies revealed that PRM-A acts as a true virus entry inhibitor. PRM-A specifically interacts with HIV-1 gp120 and efficiently prevents virus transmission in cocultures of HUT-78/HIV-1 and Sup T1 cells. Upon prolonged exposure of HIV-1-infected CEM cell cultures, PRM-A drug pressure selects for mutant HIV-1 strains containing N-glycosylation site deletions in gp120 but not gp41. A relatively long exposure time to PRM-A is required before drug-resistant virus strains emerge. PRM-A has a high genetic barrier, since more than five N-glycosylation site deletions in gp120 are required to afford moderate drug resistance. Such mutated virus strains keep full sensitivity to the other known clinically used anti-HIV drugs. PRM-A represents the first prototype compound of a nonpeptidic CBA lead and, together with peptide-based lectins, belongs to a conceptually novel type of potential therapeutics for which drug pressure results in the selection of glycan deletions in the HIV gp120 envelope.