Sulphoevernan is a sulphated α-1 → 3, 1 → 4 polyglucan ( 20000) with a helical structure. This compound effectively inhibits both human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and type 2 infection of cells at concentrations around 0.5 µg/ml. Moreover, the compound completely inhibits HIV-1-induced syncytium formation at a concentration of 1 µg/ml. Competition experiments with S-labelled sulphoevernan revealed that the mannose-specific lectin from prevented binding of sulphoevernan to HIV-1, whereas the antibody OKT4A did not reduce the amount of sulphoevernan bound to MT-2 cells. These data indicate that the non-cytotoxic polymer sulphoevernan binds to the virus rather than to the host cell. studies, using Rauscher leukaemia virus in NMRI mice, revealed that, at a daily dose of 20 mg/kg, the animals were protected against virus-induced increases in spleen weight. From these and data we conclude that sulphoevernan has potential in the treatment of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.


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