Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph. D.


Pharmacology and Toxicology

Committee Chair

Palmer, Kenneth Edward

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Chaires, J. Brad

Committee Member

Chaires, J. Brad

Committee Member

Chen, Theresa

Committee Member

Hurst, Harrell

Committee Member

Matoba, Nobuyuki

Author's Keywords

Griffithsin; Griffithisia sp; GRFT


Lectins; Antiviral agents


Carbohydrate binding agents that target viral envelope glycans are being studied for their potential use as microbicides and antiviral therapeutics. Griffithsin is a lectin originally identified in a red alga Griffithisia sp. Multiple studies have shown that GRFT inhibits HIV-1, Coronaviruses, Hepatitis C, influenza and Ebola virus replication in vitro. This antiviral activity suggests potential uses in chemoprophylaxis and disease treatment. However, safety of GRFT administration has not been extensively studied. In vivo testing--chronic subcutaneous treatment as well as single dose subcutaneous, oral, and intravenous administrations of Griffithsin in Sprague Dawley Rats (Rattus Norvegicus)--was used to assess Griffithsin’s pharmacokinetic properties and to predict whether use of Griffithsin for antiviral treatment might be safe and effective. Based on histological, serological, and biochemical data derived from these experiments, Griffithsin is generally well tolerated. However, protein binding assays revealed interactions with complement and apolipoproteins and calorimetric assays revealed changes in serum thermograms that may require further study.