Lectins are a group of proteins of non-immune origin that recognize and bind to carbohydrates without modifying them. Banana is the common name for both herbaceous plants of the genus Musa
and for the fruit they produce. They are indeed a promising source for many medicinal applications. Banana lectins have the potential for inhibiting HIV-1 reverse transcriptase activity, suppressing cancer cell proliferation and stimulating macrophage activities. Nevertheless, compared to other plant lectins, there is relatively little information in the literature on banana lectins, particularly with respect to their structure and biological functions. Herein we focus our review on the structure, functions and exploitable properties of banana lectins.
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