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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Aug 22;308(2):396-402.

Structural and functional characterization of the GalNAc/Gal-specific lectin from the phytopathogenic ascomycete Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary.

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Signaux et Messages Cellulaires chez les Végétaux, UMR CNRS-UPS 5546, Pôle de Biotechnologie végétale, BP 17, 24 Chemin de Borde Rouge, Castanet-Tolosan 31326, France.


The lectin found in mycelium and sclerotes of the phytopathogenic fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a homodimer consisting of two identical non-covalently bound subunits of 16,000 Da. CD spectra analysis revealed that the S. sclerotiorum agglutinin (SSA) contains predominantly beta-sheet structures. SSA exhibits specificity towards GalNAc whereby the hydroxyls at positions 4 and 6 of the pyranose ring play a key role in the interaction with simple sugars. The carbohydrate-binding site of SSA can also accommodate disaccharides. The N-terminal sequence of SSA shares no significant similarity with any other protein except a lectin from the Sclerotiniaceae species Ciborinia camelliae. A comparison of SSA and the lectins from C. camelliae and some previously characterized lectins indicates that the Sclerotiniaceae lectins form a homogeneous family of fungal lectins. This newly identified lectin family, which is structurally unrelated to any other family of fungal lectins, is most probably confined to the Ascomycota.

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