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Open Access Research article

Screening the anti infectivity potentials of native N- and C-lobes derived from the camel lactoferrin against hepatitis C virus

Elrashdy M Redwan12*, Esmail M EL-Fakharany2, Vladimir N Uversky13 and Mustafa H Linjawi4

Author Affiliations

1 Biological Science Department, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80203, Jeddah 21589, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

2 Therapeutic and Protective Proteins Laboratory, Protein Research Department, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Research Institute, City for Scientific Research and Technology Applications, New Borg EL-Arab, Alexandria 21394, Egypt

3 Department of Molecular Medicine, USF Health Byrd Alzheimer’s Research Institute, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA

4 College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, P.O. Box 80203, Jeddah 21589, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014, 14:219  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-14-219

Published: 3 July 2014

Abstract

Background

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represents a worldwide health threat that still needs efficient protective vaccine and/or effective drug. The traditional medicine, such as camel milk, is heavily used by the large sector of HCV patients to control the infection due to the high cost of the available standard therapy. Camel milk contains lactoferrin, which plays an important and multifunctional role in innate immunity and specific host defense against microbial infection. Continuing the analysis of the effectiveness of camel lactoferrin against HCV, the current study aimed to separate and purify the native N- and C-lobes from the proteolytically cleaved camel lactoferrin (cLF) and to compare their in vitro activities against the HCV infection in Huh7.5 cells in order to determine the most active domain.

Methods

Lactoferrin and its digested N- and C-lobes were purified by Mono S 5/50 GL column and Superdex 200 5/150 column. The purified proteins were assessed through three venues: 1. To inhibit intracellular replication, HCV infected cells were treated with the proteins at different concentrations and time intervals; 2. The proteins were directly incubated with the viral particles (neutralization) and then such neutralized viruses were used to infect cells; 3. The cells were protected with proteins before exposure to the virus. The antiviral potentials of the cLf and its lobes were determined using three techniques: 1. RT-nested PCR, 2. Real-time PCR, and 3. Flow cytometry.

Results

N- and C-lobes were purified in two consecutive steps; using Mono-S and Superdex 200 columns. The molecular mass of N- and C-lobes was about 40 kDa. cLF and its lobes could prevent HCV entry into Huh 7.5 cells with activity reached 100% through direct interaction with the virus. The inhibition of intracellular viral replication by N-lobe is 2-fold and 3-fold more effective than that of the cLF and C-lobe, respectively.

Conclusion

Generated native N- and C-lobes from camel lactoferrin demonstrated a range of noticeably different potentials against HCV cellular infectivity. The anti-HCV activities were sorted as N-lobe > cLf > C-lobe.

Keywords:
Camel lactoferrin; Proteolytic digestion; Purification; N- and C-lobes; Huh7.5 cells; Anti-HCV