Phospholipases A2 from snake venoms inhibit HIV replication
Since the beginning of HIV epidemic, lasting more than 30 years, the main goal of scientists was to develop effective methods for the prevention and treatment of HIV infection, including the search for new compounds with high activity against HIV. Studies carried out by the staff of the Department of Molecular Neuroimmune Signaling of the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology showed that phospholipases A2 (PLA2) from snake venom have a pronounced anti-HIV effect.
Various phospholipases inhibited HIV-1 early in the viral replication cycle. The high activity of PLA2s in inhibiting the formation of syncytia in a system with chronically infected HIV cells indicated that PLA2s effectively blocked the binding of HIV-1 glycoprotein gp120 to CD4 cell receptors. The dimeric PLA2 from Nikolsky's viper (Vipera nikolskii), which showed the highest activity, blocked the adsorption of HIV-1 to permissive cells, had a virucidal effect and a wide spectrum of antiretroviral activity against various highly pathogenic HIV strains. Thus, the performed study showed that PLA2s from snake venoms can be considered as new candidates for the development of anti-HIV drugs.
The results are published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.