PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE (U S A), Volume 96, Number 6: Pages 2678-2681,
March 16 1999.

Lysozyme and RNases as anti-HIV components in beta-core
preparations of human chorionic gonadotropin.

Lee-Huang S, Huang PL, Sun Y, Kung Hf, Blithe DL, Chen HC

Department of Biochemistry,
New York University School of Medicine,
New York, NY 10016.

Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) preparations contain activity against HIV type 1 (HIV-1). However, there has been controversy about whether some biological activities of hCG beta-subunit (hCGbeta) preparations are caused by the beta-subunit itself or other proteins present in the preparations. We report here the purification, characterization, and identification of three enzymes with anti-HIV activity present in the beta-core fraction of hCGbeta prepared from the urine of pregnant women. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of one protein is identical to human urinary lysozyme C, and those of the other two are identical to human RNase A and urinary RNase U. We thus refer to these proteins as AVL (antiviral lysozyme) and AVR (antiviral RNases). In addition to HIV-1 inhibition, AVL is capable of lysing Micrococcus lysodeikticus. AVR digests a variety of RNA substrates, including RNA from HIV-1-infected cells. We also find that lysozyme from chicken egg white, human milk, and human neutrophils and RNase A from bovine pancreas possess activity against HIV-1. These findings may offer additional strategies for the treatment of HIV-1 infection.

(File revised 6 November 2005)