Cyanovirin-N (CV-N), a cyanobacterial lectin, is a potent viral entry inhibitor currently under development as a microbicide against a broad spectrum of enveloped viruses. CV-N was originally identified as a highly active anti-HIV agent and later, as a virucidal agent against other unrelated enveloped viruses such as Ebola, and possibly other viruses. CV-Ns antiviral activity appears to involve unique recognition of Nlinked high-mannose oligosaccharides, Man-8 and Man-9, on the viral surface glycoproteins. Due to its distinct mode of action and opportunities for harnessing the associated interaction for therapeutic intervention, a substantial body of research on CV-N has accumulated since its discovery in 1997. In this review we focus in particular on structural studies on CV-N and their relationship to biological activity.
Keywords: cyanovirin-n, sars, microbicidal agent, high-mannose oligosaccharides
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