Bryodin, a single-chain ribosome-inactivating protein (RIP) isolated from Bryonia cretica ssp dioica (cucurbitaceae), was found to selectively inhibit the growth of persistently HIV-1-infected T lymphoma cells (KE37/1) and human lung fibroblast when used in concentrations from 2-20 μg/ml. Uninfected KE37/1 cells remained unaffected at the same doses of bryodin. In addition, bryodin reduced HIV production in the surviving infected cells. Two isoforms of bryodin were purified by dye ligand chromatography. Both isoforms exerted the growth-inhibiting influence and reduced HIV production. Trichosanthin, another member of the RIP family, had similar inhibitory effects on the growth of HIV-1 infected cells and on HIV-1 production. Bryodin and trichosanthin were effective in about the same dose range. No selective effects for HIV-infected cells were observed with the RIPs gelonin and ricin.