A novel protein, named BAS-AH, was purified and characterized from the skin of the toad Bufo andrewsi. BAS-AH is a single chain protein and the apparent molecular weight is about 63 kDa as judged by SDS-PAGE. BAS-AH was determined to bind heme (0.89 mol heme/mol protein) as determined by pyridine haemochrome analysis. Fifty percentage cytotoxic concentration (CC50) of BAS-AH on C8166 cells was 9.5 microM. However, at concentrations that showed little effect on cell viability, BAS-AH displayed dose dependent inhibition on HIV-1 infection and replication. The antiviral selectivity indexes (CC50/EC50) were 14.4 and 11.4, respectively, corresponding to the measurements of syncytium formation and HIV-1 p24 antigen expression. BAS-AH also showed an inhibitory effect on the activity of recombinant HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (IC50 = 1.32 microM). The N-terminal sequence of BAS-AH was determined to be NAKXKADVIGKISILLGQDNLSNIVAAM, which exhibited little identity with other known anti-HIV-1 proteins. BAS-AH is devoid of antibacterial, proteolytic, trypsin inhibitory activity, l-amino acid oxidase activity and catalase activity.