Inhibition of HIV replication by pokeweed antiviral protein targeted to CD4+ cells by monoclonal antibodies

Abstract

FUNCTIONAL impairment and selective depletion of CD4+ T cells, the hallmark of AIDS, are at least partly caused by human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) type 1 binding to the CD4 molecule and infecting CD4+ cells1,2. It may, therefore, be of therapeutic value to target an antiviral agent to CD4+ cells to prevent infection and to inhibit HIV-1 production in patients' CD4+ cells which contain proviral DNA3,4. We report here that HIV-1 replication in normal primary CD4+ T cells can be inhibited by pokeweed antiviral protein, a plant protein of relative molecular mass 30,000 (ref. 5), which inhibits replication of certain plant RNA viruses6–8, and of herpes simplex virus, poliovirus and influenza virus9–11. Targeting pokeweed antiviral protein to CD4+ T cells by conjugating it to monoclonal antibodies reactive with CDS, CD7 or CD4 expressed on CD4+ cells, increased its anti-HIV potency up to 1,000-fold. HIV-1 replication is inhibited at picomolar concentrations of conjugates of pokeweed antiviral protein and monoclonal antibodies, which do not inhibit proliferation of normal CD4+ T cells or CD4-dependent responses. These conjugates inhibit HIV-1 protein synthesis and also strongly inhibit HIV-1 production in activated CD4+ T cells from infected patients.

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Zarling, J., Moran, P., Haffar, O. et al. Inhibition of HIV replication by pokeweed antiviral protein targeted to CD4+ cells by monoclonal antibodies. Nature 347, 92–95 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1038/347092a0

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