Special Issue "Plant Lectins: From Model Species to Crop Plants"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2017)
Prof. Dr. Els Van Damme
Department of Molecular Biotechnology, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
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Interests: lectins; carbohydrate-binding proteins; protein–carbohydrate interactions; carbohydrate recognition; glycosylation; biological activity; physiological importance; defense and immunity; stress proteins; glycobiology
Lectins—also called carbohydrate-binding proteins—are defined as “proteins that possess at least one non-catalytic domain that binds reversibly to a specific mono- or oligosaccharide”. Numerous plant species consist of one or more proteins containing a lectin domain, enabling these proteins to recognize and bind to specific carbohydrate structures. The group of plant lectins is quite heterogeneous since lectins differ in their molecular structure, specificity for carbohydrate structures, and biological activities. The significant expansion of available genome sequence data enabled the retrieval of sequences encoding lectin motifs from every plant species studied. Based on the sequence conservation of their carbohydrate-recognition domain, plant lectins can be divided into different families of evolutionary related proteins. In spite of decades of research, the function of most lectins has not yet been elucidated.
Protein-carbohydrate interactions underlie many important biological events, including cellular signalling and recognition processes. Carbohydrate chains of glycoproteins, glycolipids, proteoglycans, and polysaccharides play a fundamental role in multiple biological processes. Although there is strong evidence for the importance of protein-carbohydrate interactions in vertebrates, little is known on their implications for the growth and development of plants.
In this Special Issue we aim to collect manuscripts from different research disciplines covering the current knowledge of plant lectins, their molecular characteristics, their biological activities, and their applications.
Prof. Els Van Damme
Manuscript Submission Information
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- protein carbohydrate interaction
- carbohydrate binding
- sugar specificity
- biological activity