Peptides derived from human lactoferrin with broad spectrum antiviral activity

Principal Investigator for IVN Camelia Sultana MD, PhD

(2017 – 2018) – Principal Investigator for IVN Camelia Sultana MD, PhD

Aim: Human lactoferrin (HLf) is a glycoprotein from the transferrin family, existing in most of the human secretions, and its antiviral activity has been increasingly reported. However, it is not known exactly whether the antiviral effect is correlated with the complete lactoferrin molecule or only with its active regions. The aim of the project is to test the biological effect of HLf derivatives in various viral infections, and to determine the type and percentage of antiviral activity of different HLf synthetic peptides – containing either the amino acids 1–9, 1-23 or 1-33 from the native molecule (HLP 1-9, HLP 1-23, and HLP 1-33, respectively).


Coordinator: Institutul de Biochimie al Academiei Româna (RO) – Principal Investigator: Dr. Catalin Lazăr,

Partner: Institute of Virology Stefan S. Nicolau – Principal Investigator: Dr Camelia Sultana

Working team: Camelia Sultana, Coralia Bleotu, Adelina Rosca, Claudia Dita, Camelia Grancea

Project financed by UEFISCDI, PN-III-P2-2.1 /PED nr. 150/3.01.2017

Implementation period: 2017 – 2018

Summary: The studies carried out in this project appreciate the antiviral spectrum of peptides derived from Lactoferrin and indicate that the most important results were obtained with derivatives containing the first 23 and 33 amino acids in the N terminal head of the molecule (HLP 1-23 and HLP1–33, respectively) in viral systems HSV1 and HSV2, and less important for Adenovirus. These peptides have multiple advantages in clinical practice, they have antiviral activity during the initial stages of the replicative cycle, but also later in the course of replication, and due to the small molecule, they are accessible to molecular simulation studies. The transfer of technology in current medical practice may lead to the introduction into therapy of lactoferrin derivative compounds, substances with high efficiency and low toxicity, which could form the basis of some medicinal preparations, conditioned either as a vaginal gel for the prevention of STD, or of prevention drugs with various other types of administration.


Communications at national/international congresses

  1. P.E. Florian,C. Lazar, C. Sultana, A. Rosca, C. Bleotu , D. Dragu, S. Ruta, N. Nichita, A. Roseanu. Human lactoferrin-derived peptides with antiviral properties. The Annual International Conference of the Romanian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, pg  47, Bucharest, 5-7th September, 2018
  2. Camelia Sultana, Coralia Bleotu, Adelina Rosca, Claudia Dita, Camelia Grancea, Simona Ruta.Evaluarea activitatii antivirale a HLP1–9,  un peptid derivat de lactoferina umana. A X-a Conferință Națională de Microbiologie și Epidemiologie, Bucuresti, 2-4 nov 2017, poster 19, rezumat publicat în revista Bacteriologia, Virusologia, Parazitologia, Epidemiologia,  2017, p 72, ISSN: 1220-3696