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OrganismScytonema varium (Cyanobacterium)

Scytovirin is a 95-amino acid antiviral protein isolated from the cyanobacteria Scytonema varium.[1] It has been cultured in E. coli and its structure investigated in detail.[2][3][4] Scytovirin is thought to be produced by the bacteria to protect itself from viruses that might otherwise attack it, but as it has broad-spectrum antiviral activity against a range of enveloped viruses, scytovirin has also been found to be useful against a range of major human pathogens, most notably HIV / AIDS but also including SARS coronavirus and filoviruses such as Ebola virus and Marburg virus.[5][6][7] While some lectins such as cyanovirin and Urtica dioica agglutinin are thought likely to be too allergenic to be used internally in humans, studies so far on scytovirin and griffithsin have not shown a similar level of immunogenicity.[8] Scytovirin and griffithsin are currently being investigated as potential microbicides for topical use.[9]


  1. ^ Bokesch HR, O'Keefe BR, McKee TC, Pannell LK, Patterson GM, Gardella RS, Sowder RC, Turpin J, Watson K, Buckheit RW, Boyd MR (March 2003). "A potent novel anti-HIV protein from the cultured cyanobacterium Scytonema varium". Biochemistry. 42 (9): 2578–84. doi:10.1021/bi0205698. PMID 12614152.
  2. ^ Xiong C, O'Keefe BR, Botos I, Wlodawer A, McMahon JB (April 2006). "Overexpression and purification of scytovirin, a potent, novel anti-HIV protein from the cultured cyanobacterium Scytonema varium". Protein Expression and Purification. 46 (2): 233–9. doi:10.1016/j.pep.2005.09.019. PMID 16289703.
  3. ^ McFeeters RL, Xiong C, O'Keefe BR, Bokesch HR, McMahon JB, Ratner DM, Castelli R, Seeberger PH, Byrd RA (June 2007). "The novel fold of scytovirin reveals a new twist for antiviral entry inhibitors". Journal of Molecular Biology. 369 (2): 451–61. doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2007.03.030. PMC 2696897. PMID 17434526.
  4. ^ Moulaei T, Stuchlik O, Reed M, Yuan W, Pohl J, Lu W, Haugh-Krumpe L, O'Keefe BR, Wlodawer A (September 2010). "Topology of the disulfide bonds in the antiviral lectin scytovirin". Protein Science. 19 (9): 1649–61. doi:10.1002/pro.445. PMC 2975129. PMID 20572021.
  5. ^ Ziółkowska NE, Wlodawer A (2006). "Structural studies of algal lectins with anti-HIV activity". Acta Biochimica Polonica. 53 (4): 617–26. doi:10.18388/abp.2006_3290. PMID 17128290.
  6. ^ Li Y, Zhang X, Chen G, Wei D, Chen F (2008). "Algal lectins for potential prevention of HIV transmission". Current Medicinal Chemistry. 15 (11): 1096–104. doi:10.2174/092986708784221421. PMID 18473805.
  7. ^ Garrison AR, Giomarelli BG, Lear-Rooney CM, Saucedo CJ, Yellayi S, Krumpe LR, Rose M, Paragas J, Bray M, Olinger GG, McMahon JB, Huggins J, O'Keefe BR (December 2014). "The cyanobacterial lectin scytovirin displays potent in vitro and in vivo activity against Zaire Ebola virus". Antiviral Research. 112: 1–7. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2014.09.012. PMC 4258435. PMID 25265598.
  8. ^ Barton C, Kouokam JC, Lasnik AB, Foreman O, Cambon A, Brock G, Montefiori DC, Vojdani F, McCormick AA, O'Keefe BR, Palmer KE (2014). "Activity of and effect of subcutaneous treatment with the broad-spectrum antiviral lectin griffithsin in two laboratory rodent models". Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy. 58 (1): 120–7. doi:10.1128/AAC.01407-13. PMC 3910741. PMID 24145548.
  9. ^ Huskens D, Schols D (July 2012). "Algal lectins as potential HIV microbicide candidates". Marine Drugs. 10 (7): 1476–97. doi:10.3390/md10071476. PMC 3407925. PMID 22851920.