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Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2001 Nov;57(Pt 11):1513-7. Epub 2001 Oct 25.

Structure of Urtica dioica agglutinin isolectin I: dimer formation mediated by two zinc ions bound at the sugar-binding site.

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Biological Information Research Center, AIST, Tsukuba Central 6, 1-1-1 Higashi, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8566, Japan.


Ultica dioica agglutinin, a plant lectin from the stinging nettle, consists of a total of seven individual isolectins. One of these structures, isolectin I, was determined at 1.9 A resolution by the X-ray method. The crystals belong to the space group P2(1) and the asymmetric unit contains two molecules related by local twofold symmetry. The molecule consists of two hevein-like chitin-binding domains lacking distinct secondary structure, but four disulfide bonds in each domain maintain the tertiary structure. The backbone structure of the two independent molecules is essentially identical and this is similarly true of the sugar-binding sites. In the crystal, the C-terminal domains bind Zn(2+) ions at the sugar-binding site. Owing to their location near a pseudo-twofold axis, the two zinc ions link the two independent molecules in a tail-to-tail arrangement: thus, His47 of molecule 1 and His67 of molecule 2 coordinate the first zinc ion, while the second zinc ion links Asp75 of molecule 1 and His47 of molecule 2.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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