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The agmatine-containing poly(amidoamine) polymer AGMA1 binds cell surface heparan sulfates and prevents attachment of mucosal human papillomaviruses.

Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy (2015-06-17)
Valeria Cagno, Manuela Donalisio, Antonella Bugatti, Andrea Civra, Roberta Cavalli, Elisabetta Ranucci, Paolo Ferruti, Marco Rusnati, David Lembo
ABSTRACT

The agmatine-containing poly(amidoamine) polymer AGMA1 was recently shown to inhibit the infectivity of several viruses, including human papillomavirus 16 (HPV-16), that exploit cell surface heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) as attachment receptors. The aim of this work was to assess the antiviral activity of AGMA1 and its spectrum of activity against a panel of low-risk and high-risk HPVs and to elucidate its mechanism of action. AGMA1 was found to be a potent inhibitor of mucosal HPV types (i.e., types 16, 31, 45, and 6) in pseudovirus-based neutralization assays. The 50% inhibitory concentration was between 0.34 μg/ml and 0.73 μg/ml, and no evidence of cytotoxicity was observed. AGMA1 interacted with immobilized heparin and with cellular heparan sulfates, exerting its antiviral action by preventing virus attachment to the cell surface. The findings from this study indicate that AGMA1 is a leading candidate compound for further development as an active ingredient of a topical microbicide against HPV and other sexually transmitted viral infections.

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