Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name



Pharmacology and Toxicology

Committee Chair

Palmer, Kenneth Edward

Author's Keywords

Griffithsin; Lectin; HIV


Lectins; Antiviral agents


Griffithsin (GRFT) is a carbohydrate binding protein derived from the red alga Griffithisia sp. that has been shown to effectively interfere with the cellular attachment and infectivity of a number of viruses, including HIV-1. However, it is currently unknown what impact systemic GRFT administration may have upon a biological system. For initial in vivo testing, we introduced GRFT into guinea pigs (Cavia Parcel/us) via subcutaneous injection. Based on histological, serological, and biochemical data derived from these experiments, GRFT is well tolerated and maintained at physiologically relevant concentrations while retaining its potent antiviral activity. Follow up in vitro testing included a number of assays to assess GRFT's interaction with serum proteins and proteases. The results confirm that GRFT is well tolerated by animals and maintains its antiviral activity while simultaneously displaying a strong resistance to proteolytic cleavage. Accordingly, GRFT is a strong candidate for further development as a systemic anti-viral therapy.