Lectins are a large group of carbohydrate-binding proteins, having been shown to comprise at least 48 protein scaffolds or protein family entries. They occur ubiquitously in living organisms—from humans to microorganisms, including viruses—and while their functions are yet to be fully elucidated, their main underlying actions are thought to mediate cell-cell and cell-glycoconjugate interactions, which play important roles in an extensive range of biological processes. The basic feature of each lectin’s function resides in its specific sugar-binding properties. In this regard, it is beneficial for researchers to have access to fundamental information about the detailed oligosaccharide specificities of diverse lectins. In this review, the authors describe a publicly available lectin database named “Lectin f
rontier DataBase (Lf
DB)”, which undertakes the continuous publication and updating of comprehensive data for lectin-standard oligosaccharide interactions in terms of dissociation constants (Kd
’s). For Kd
determination, an advanced system of frontal affinity chromatography (FAC) is used, with which quantitative datasets of interactions between immobilized lectins and >100 fluorescently labeled standard glycans have been generated. The FAC system is unique in its clear principle, simple procedure and high sensitivity, with an increasing number (>67) of associated publications that attest to its reliability. Thus, Lf
DB, is expected to play an essential role in lectin research, not only in basic but also in applied fields of glycoscience.
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