Potential Lactoferrin Activity Against Pathogenic Viruses

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Pathogen, Antiviral activity, Lactoferrin

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Lactoferrin (LF) is an 80-kDa globular glycoprotein with high affinity for metal ions, particularly for iron. This protein possesses many biological functions, including the binding and release of iron and serves as one of the important components of the innate immune system, where it acts as a potent inhibitor of several pathogens. LF has efficacious antibacterial and antiviral activities against a wide range of Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and against both naked and enveloped DNA and RNA viruses. In its antiviral pursuit, LF acts predominantly at the acute phase of the viral infection or even at the intracellular stage, as in hepatitis C virus infection. LF inhibits the entry of viral particles into host cells, either by direct attachment to the viral particles or by blocking their cellular receptors. This wide range of activities may be attributed to the capacity of LF to bind iron and its ability to interfere with the cellular receptors of both hosts and pathogenic microbes.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Comptes Rendus Biologies, v. 337, issue 10, p. 581-595