Griffithsin (GRFT) is a broad-spectrum antiviral protein that is effective against several glycosylated viruses. Here, we have evaluated the in vitro and in vivo antiviral activities of GRFT against Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection. In vitro experiments showed that treatment of JEV with GRFT before inoculation of BHK-21 cells inhibited infection in a dose-dependent manner, with 99 % inhibition at 100 μg/ml and a 50 % inhibitory concentration ( IC 50 ) of 265 ng/ml (20 nM). Binding assays suggested that binding of GRFT to JEV virions inhibited JEV infection. In vivo experiment showed that GRFT (5 mg/kg) administered intraperitoneally before virus infection could completely prevent mortality in mice challenged intraperitoneally with a lethal dose of JEV. Our study also suggested that GRFT prevents JEV infection at the entry phase by targeting the virus. Collectively, our data demonstrate that GRFT is an antiviral agent with potential application in the development of therapeutics against JEV or other flavivirus infections.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2013