Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) are endowed with several medicinal properties, including antiviral activity. We demonstrate here that the recently identified type I RIP from Momordica balsamina also possesses antiviral activity, as determined by viral growth curve assays and single-round infection experiments. Importantly, this activity is at play even as doses where the RIP has no cytotoxic effect. In addition, balsamin inhibits HIV-1 replication not only in T cell lines but also in human primary CD4+ T cells. This antiviral compound exerts its activity at a viral replicative step occurring later than reverse-transcription, most likely on viral protein translation, prior to viral budding and release. Finally, we demonstrate that balsamin antiviral activity is broad since it also impedes influenza virus replication. Altogether our results demonstrate that type I RIP can exert a potent anti-HIV-1 activity which paves the way for new therapeutic avenues for the treatment of viral infections. © 2013 Kaur et al.
Kaur, I., Puri, M., Ahmed, Z., Blanchet, F. P., Mangeat, B., & Piguet, V. (2013). Inhibition of HIV-1 Replication by Balsamin, a Ribosome Inactivating Protein of Momordica balsamina. PLoS ONE, 8(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0073780