Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cancer Chemother Pharmacol. 2003 Jun;51(6):451-8. Epub 2003 Apr 15.

Relationships between degree of binding, cytotoxicity and cytoagglutinating activity of plant-derived agglutinins in normal lymphocytes and cultured leukemic cell lines.

Author information

Single-Molecule Bioanalysis Laboratory, National Institute for Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, AIST-Shikoku, 2217-14 Hayashi-cho, Takamatsu, 761-0395, Kagawa, Japan.



To clarify the relationships between the degree of lectin-cell binding, cytotoxicity and cytoagglutinating activity of plant-derived lectins in normal lymphocytes and cultured leukemic cell lines.


Plant lectins with different quaternary structures and saccharide specificity were used: Dolichos biflorus agglutinin (DBA), Soybean agglutinin (SBA) and Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA). The leukemic cell lines used were: Jurkat, MOLT-4, RPMI-8402, HPB-ALL, CCR-HSB-2 and BALL-1 (derived from acute lymphoblastic leukemia); Raji and Daudi (derived from Burkitt's lymphoma); K-562 (derived from myelogenous leukemia). The lectin-cell binding was detected microscopically and fluorimetrically using FITC-conjugated lectins. Cytotoxicity was estimated by the CellTiter-Glo luminescent cell viability assay, and cytoagglutinating activity by a spectrophotometric method.


The binding of DBA and SBA to normal lymphocytes was negligible, while their binding to leukemic cells increased markedly with increasing lectin concentration. Analogous results were obtained for WGA. However, it was found that WGA also interacted to a significant degree with normal lymphocytes. The degree of lectin-cell binding increased in the order: DBA<SBA<WGA. The cytoagglutinating activity and cytotoxicity of lectins increased in the same order. DBA did not exhibit a cytotoxic effect against normal or leukemic cells, and showed a poor cytoagglutinating activity only in MOLT-4, CCR-HSB-2 and BALL-1 cells. SBA exhibited poor cytotoxicity against Jurkat, RPMI-8402, HPB-ALL and CCR-HSB-2 cells, but a well-defined cytotoxicity against Raji and Daudi cells. SBA showed poor cytoagglutinating activity in leukemic cells. In contrast, WGA at concentrations higher than 0.05 microM showed high cytotoxicity against all leukemic cell lines tested as well as against normal lymphocytes. WGA also showed a well-expressed cytoagglutinating effect in all cell lines except normal lymphocytes. There was a moderate inverse correlation between cell viability and the velocity of cytoagglutination ( r=-0.56, P<0.001), and a good correlation between cell viability and the degree of lectin-cell binding ( r=-0.75, P<0.001). There was a low positive correlation between the velocity of cytoagglutination and the degree of lectin-cell binding ( r=0.43, P<0.001).


The results suggest that the lectins that bound most strongly to leukemic cells expressed higher cytotoxic and cytoagglutinating activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center