Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
BMC Plant Biol. 2009 Nov 23;9:136. doi: 10.1186/1471-2229-9-136.

Proteins with an Euonymus lectin-like domain are ubiquitous in Embryophyta.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Biochemistry and Glycobiology, Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium.



Cloning of the Euonymus lectin led to the discovery of a novel domain that also occurs in some stress-induced plant proteins. The distribution and the diversity of proteins with an Euonymus lectin (EUL) domain were investigated using detailed analysis of sequences in publicly accessible genome and transcriptome databases.


Comprehensive in silico analyses indicate that the recently identified Euonymus europaeus lectin domain represents a conserved structural unit of a novel family of putative carbohydrate-binding proteins, which will further be referred to as the Euonymus lectin (EUL) family. The EUL domain is widespread among plants. Analysis of retrieved sequences revealed that some sequences consist of a single EUL domain linked to an unrelated N-terminal domain whereas others comprise two in tandem arrayed EUL domains. A new classification system for these lectins is proposed based on the overall domain architecture. Evolutionary relationships among the sequences with EUL domains are discussed.


The identification of the EUL family provides the first evidence for the occurrence in terrestrial plants of a highly conserved plant specific domain. The widespread distribution of the EUL domain strikingly contrasts the more limited or even narrow distribution of most other lectin domains found in plants. The apparent omnipresence of the EUL domain is indicative for a universal role of this lectin domain in plants. Although there is unambiguous evidence that several EUL domains possess carbohydrate-binding activity further research is required to corroborate the carbohydrate-binding properties of different members of the EUL family.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk