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Biochimie. 1988 Nov;70(11):1627-32.

Multiple soluble vertebrate galactoside-binding lectins.

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Langley Porter Psychiatric Institute, Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0984.


All vertebrates synthesize soluble galactoside-binding lectins. Many are expressed at high levels in the embryo and at lower levels in the adult, whereas others show an inverse pattern of expression. Most lectins tend to be concentrated in one or a number of specific cell types. In the past few years, the multiplicity of these lectins has become more apparent. For example, in Xenopus laevis 3 galactoside-binding lectins, 2 with a preference for alpha-galactosides, have been purified and partially characterized. They have subunit molecular weights ranging from 16,000 to 69,000. More detailed studies have been done in mammals. For example, rat lung contains 3 soluble beta-galactoside-binding lectins, RL-14.5, RL-18 and RL-29, with subunit molecular weights, respectively, of 14,500, 18,000 and 29,000. A notable feature of these lectins is that, although they all bind lactose about equally well, their carbohydrate-binding sites are actually quite different, as shown by competitive binding studies with a range of complex mammalian glycoconjugates. Human lung also contains several beta-galactoside-binding lectins, including HL-14, HL-22 and HL-29 with subunit molecular weights, respectively, of 14,000, 22,000 and 29,000. They too show significant differences in their carbohydrate-binding sites when analyzed with naturally occurring mammalian glycoconjugates. Sequencing of purified lectins and cDNA clones indicates that at least 4 distinct genes code for what appears to be a family of HL-14. Heterogeneity is also indicated from isoelectric focusing studies which resolve at least 6 acidic forms of HL-14 and 5 acidic forms of HL-29.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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