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Glycobiology. 2002 Mar;12(3):199-208.

High-affinity binding of recombinant human galectin-4 to SO(3)(-)-->3Galbeta1-->3GalNAc pyranoside.

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  • 1CREST (Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology) of the Japan Science and Technology Corporation, 2-3, Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-0062, Japan.


Galectin-4 is a member of galectin family and has two carbohydrate recognition domains. Although galectin-4 has been thought to function in cell adhesion, its precise carbohydrate binding specificity has not yet been clarified. We studied the carbohydrate binding specificity of galectin-4 comparatively with that of galectin-3, using surface plasmon resonance, galectin-3- or -4-Sepharose column chromatography and the inhibition assay of their binding to immobilized asialofetuin. Galectin-3 broadly recognized lactose, type 1, type 2, and core 1. The substitution at the C-2 and C-3 position of beta-galactose in these oligosaccharides with alpha-fucose, alpha-GalNAc, alpha-Neu5Ac, or sulfate increased the binding ability for galectin-3, whereas the substitution at the C-4 or C-6 position diminished the affinity. In contrast, galectin-4 had quite weak affinity to lactose, type 1, and type 2 (K(d) congruent with 8 x 10(-4) M). Galectin-4 showed weak binding ability to core 1 and C-2' or -3'-substituted lactose, type 1, and type 2 with alpha-fucose, alpha-GalNAc, or sulfate (K(d) : 5 x 10(-5) approximately 3 x 10(-4) M). Interestingly, the K(d) value, 3.4 x 10(-6) M, of SO(3)(-)-->3Galbeta1-->3GalNAc-O-Bn to galectin-4 at 25 degrees C was two orders of magnitude lower than that of core 1-O-Bn. 3'-Sialylated core 1 had very weak affinity to galectin-4, suggesting that 3'-O-sulfation of core 1 is critical for the recognition. These results suggest that galectin-4 has a unique carbohydrate binding specificity and interacts with O-linked sulfoglycans.

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