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Structure. 2004 Apr;12(4):689-702.

Structure and functional analysis of the fungal galectin CGL2.

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Institute of Microbiology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Schmelzbergstrasse 7, CH-8092, Zurich, Switzerland.


Recognition of and discrimination between potential glyco-substrates is central to the function of galectins. Here we dissect the fundamental parameters responsible for such selectivity by the fungal representative, CGL2. The 2.1 A crystal structure of CGL2 and five substrate complexes reveal that this prototype galectin achieves increased substrate specificity by accommodating substituted oligosaccharides of the mammalian blood group A/B type in an extended binding cleft. Kinetic studies on wild-type and mutant CGL2 proteins demonstrate that the tetrameric organization is essential for functionality. The geometric constraints due to the orthogonal orientation of the four binding sites have important consequences on substrate binding and selectivity.

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