Detection of the active components of calf thymus nuclear proteins (TNP), histones that are binding with high affinity to HIV-1 envelope proteins and CD4 molecules

Grigor Mamikonyan, Anatoly Kiyatkin, Nina Movsesyan, Mikayel Mkrtichyan, Anahit Ghochikyan, Irina Petrushina, Jimmy Hwang, Thomas E. Ichim, Haig Keledjian, Michael G. Agadjanyan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

4 Scopus citations


VGV-1™, a clinical-grade formulation of bovine thymus nuclear protein (TNP) has been demonstrated to possess anti-viral activity in HIV-1 patients in five clinical trials, one of which was placebo controlled double-blinded. However, to date molecular mechanisms remain to be identified. Using surface plasmon resonance we observed TNP components bind with high affinity to HIV-1 proteins involved in viral entry, gp41 and pg120, as well as the T cell HIV-1 receptor CD4. To identify protein components of TNP, gel electrophoresis was performed followed by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Searching of bovine protein databases revealed the presence of numerous histones. Further analysis of TNP by immunoaffinity chromatography using gp120 and CD4 molecules as targets followed by gel electrophoresis and MS/MS analysis confirmed these data, demonstrating that HL1, H2B, H4, and H2A histones are the active component of TNP that bind to HIV envelop glycoprotein and its receptor. To conclusively demonstrate binding of histones to target proteins, we repeated the surface plasmon resonance experiments using commercially available bovine histones and demonstrated high-affinity interaction of histones with gp120, and CD4. The binding of histone proteins to CD4, as well as viral molecules has profound implications for basic understanding of immune functions as well as a possible mechanism of VGV-1 activity in AIDS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)318-326
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent HIV Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Sep 30 2008



  • Binding to gp41
  • CD4
  • Histones
  • Thymus nuclear proteins (TNP)
  • VGV-1
  • gp120

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology

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