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Open AccessArticle

Are Vicilins Another Major Class of Legume Lectins?

1
Faculdade de Farmácia de Lisboa, Lisbon University, Lisboa 1649-003, Portugal
2
Centro de Botânica Aplicada à Agricultura, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Lisbon University, Lisboa 1349-017, Portugal
3
CEV, S.A, Zona Industrial de Cantanhede/Biocant Park, Cantanhede 3060-197, Portugal
4
Faculdade de Medicina Veterinária, Lisbon University, Lisboa 1300-477, Portugal
5
Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, New University of Lisbon, Oeiras 2780-157, Portugal
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Molecules 2014, 19(12), 20350-20373; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules191220350
Received: 21 August 2014 / Revised: 11 November 2014 / Accepted: 19 November 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lectins)
Legume lectins comprise a structurally related, Ca/Mn-dependent, widespread, abundant and well characterized lectin family when compared to the large number of lectins from other sources described in the literature. Strangely enough, no specific function has been assigned to them aside from a possible role in storage and/or defense. Using a recent and fine-tuned methodology capable of specific lectin identification, β-conglutin, Vicia faba vicilin and β-lathyrin, the vicilin storage globulins from Lupinus albus, V. faba and Lathyrus sativus, respectively, were shown to be capable of affinity binding to thoroughly washed erythrocyte membranes and of specific elution with appropriate sugars. Based on this evidence and on sparse data published in the literature, a second family of legume lectins is proposed: the 7S family of storage proteins from leguminous seeds, or family II of legume lectins. These lectins are also structurally related, widespread and well characterized. In addition, they self-aggregate in a Ca/Mg, electrostatic dependent manner and are even more abundant than the family I of legume lectins. Using the same evidence, reserve and defense roles may be attributed to family II of legume lectins. View Full-Text
Keywords: globulin; glycosylated receptor; Lathyrus sativus; Lupinus albus; seed; Vicia faba globulin; glycosylated receptor; Lathyrus sativus; Lupinus albus; seed; Vicia faba
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Ribeiro, A.C.; Monteiro, S.V.; Carrapiço, B.M.; Ferreira, R.B. Are Vicilins Another Major Class of Legume Lectins? Molecules 2014, 19, 20350-20373.

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