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Glycobiology. 2008 Apr;18(4):315-24. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwn009. Epub 2008 Feb 6.

Galectin-loaded cells as a platform for the profiling of lectin specificity by fluorescent neoglycoconjugates: a case study on galectins-1 and -3 and the impact of assay setting.

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Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry RAS, 117997, ul. Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10, Moscow, Russia.


The involvement of galectins as pleiotropic regulators of cell adhesion and growth in disease progression explains the interest to define their ligand-binding properties. Toward this end, it is desirable to approach in vivo conditions to attain medical relevance. In order to simulate physiological conditions with cell surface glycans as recognition sites and galectins as mediators of intercellular contacts we developed an assay using galectin-loaded Raji cells. The extent of surface binding of fluorescent neoglycoconjugates depended on the lectin presence and the type of lectin, the nature of the probes' carbohydrate headgroup and the density of unsubstituted beta-galactosides on the cell surface. Using the most frequently studied galectins-1 and -3, application of this assay led to rather equal binding levels for linear and branched oligomers of N-acetyllactosamine. A clear preference of galectin-3 for alpha1-3-linked galactosylated lactosamine was noted. In parallel, a panel of 24 neoglycoconjugates was tested as inhibitors of galectin binding from solution to N-glycans of surface-immobilized asialofetuin. These two assays differ in presentation of the galectin and ligand, facilitating identification of assay-dependent properties. Under the condition of the cell assay, selectivity among oligosaccharides for the lectins was higher, and extraordinary affinity of galectin-1 to 3'-O-sulfated probes in a solid-phase assay was lost in the cell assay. Having introduced and validated a cell assay, the comprehensive profiling of ligand binding to cell-surface-presented galectins is made possible.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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