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J Clin Lab Anal. 1989;3(4):244-51.

Jacalin: a new laboratory tool in immunochemistry and cellular immunology.

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Laboratory of Immunology and Immunopathology, CNRS URA 1172, University Hospital, Poitiers, France.


In recent years, a new lectin--jacalin--has raised the interest of immunologists because of its original properties with respect to human immunoglobulins and lymphocytes. Its structure and carbohydrate binding specificity are now well documented, and it can be purified easily from jackfruit seeds by ion exchange or affinity chromatography. The binding and precipitating specificities of jacalin with heavy chains of human immunoglobulins allow its use as a diagnostic (IgA subclass typing) and preparative tool (purification of IgA and IgD, removal of IgA from biologic samples and preparations). Other possible applications of jacalin's binding properties also can be envisaged. In addition, the lectin displays a mitogenic activity specific for human CD4 T-lymphocytes; consequently, the proliferative response induced by jacalin appears to represent a new and interesting assay for a functional study of CD4 cells, with obvious applications in primary and acquired, especially AIDS, immune deficiency states.

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