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Biochem J. Jan 1, 1989; 257(1): 65–71.
PMCID: PMC1135538

Physiochemical studies on achatininH, a novel sialic acid-binding lectin.


We have purified a sialic acid-binding lectin, achatininH, in a single step by affinity chromatography, having high affinity for 9-O-acetylneuraminic acid. The physicochemical characterization of the interaction of achatininH with bivalent metal ions and sialic acid derivatives by the use of spectrofluorimetry, spectropolarimetry and precipitin reaction is reported. From fluorescence quenching studies the binding of Ca2+ (Ka = 251 +/- 9 M-1) and of Mn2+ (Ka = 86 +/- 5 M-1) was found to be weak, but their presence is absolutely necessary for sugar binding as well as biological activity. The nature and position of the substituent group play a very important role in the binding affinity. AchatininH shows a high affinity for 9-O-acetylneuraminic acid (Ka = 1.20 x 10(3) +/- 0.07 x 10(3) M-1) compared with that for the 4-O-acetyl derivative. In oligomers the binding strength increases in the order monosaccharide less than disaccharide less than trisaccharide. The binding affinity of achatininH for the disaccharide was found to reach a peak around pH 8. From c.d. spectral studies achatininH was found to have a high beta-sheet content (46%) and a low alpha-helix content (24%). From precipitin analysis at least one sugar-binding site on each of the 16 monomer subunits of the protein is indicated.

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