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Int J Mol Sci. 2014 Mar 3;15(3):3768-83. doi: 10.3390/ijms15033768.

Three-dimensional structural aspects of protein-polysaccharide interactions.

Author information

1
Structural Glycobiology Team, Systems Glycobiology Research Group, RIKEN-Max Planck Joint Research Center, RIKEN Global Research Cluster, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan. mnagae@riken.jp.
2
Structural Glycobiology Team, Systems Glycobiology Research Group, RIKEN-Max Planck Joint Research Center, RIKEN Global Research Cluster, 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan. yyoshiki@riken.jp.

Abstract

Linear polysaccharides are typically composed of repeating mono- or disaccharide units and are ubiquitous among living organisms. Polysaccharide diversity arises from chain-length variation, branching, and additional modifications. Structural diversity is associated with various physiological functions, which are often regulated by cognate polysaccharide-binding proteins. Proteins that interact with linear polysaccharides have been identified or developed, such as galectins and polysaccharide-specific antibodies, respectively. Currently, data is accumulating on the three-dimensional structure of polysaccharide-binding proteins. These proteins are classified into two types: exo-type and endo-type. The former group specifically interacts with the terminal units of polysaccharides, whereas the latter with internal units. In this review, we describe the structural aspects of exo-type and endo-type protein-polysaccharide interactions. Further, we discuss the structural basis for affinity and specificity enhancement in the face of inherently weak binding interactions.

PMID:
24595239
PMCID:
PMC3975366
DOI:
10.3390/ijms15033768
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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