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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A macrophage protein, Ym1, transiently expressed during inflammation is a novel mammalian lectin.

Oral infections of mice with Trichinella spiralis induce activation of peritoneal exudate cells to transiently express and secrete a crystallizable protein Ym1. Purification of Ym1 to homogeneity was achieved. It is a single chain polypeptide (45 kDa) with a strong tendency to crystallize at its isoelectric point (pI 5.7). Co-expression of Ym1 with Mac-1 and scavenger receptor pinpoints macrophages as its main producer. Protein microsequencing data provide information required for full-length cDNA cloning from libraries constructed from activated peritoneal exudate cells. A single open reading frame of 398 amino acids with a leader peptide (21 residues) typical of secretory protein was deduced and later deposited in GenBank (accession number M94584) in 1992. By means of surface plasmon resonance analyses, Ym1 has been shown to exhibit binding specificity to saccharides with a free amine group, such as GlcN, GalN, or GlcN polymers, but it failed to bind to other saccharides. The interaction is pH-dependent but Ca2+ and Mg2+ ion-independent. The binding avidity of Ym1 to GlcN oligosaccharides was enhanced by more than 1000-fold due to the clustering effect. Specific binding of Ym1 to heparin suggests that heparin/heparan sulfate may be its physiological ligand in vivo during inflammation and/or tissue remodeling. Although it shares approximately 30% homology with microbial chitinases, no chitinase activity was found associated with Ym1. Genomic Southern blot analyses suggest that Ym1 may represent a member of a novel lectin gene family.[1]


  1. A macrophage protein, Ym1, transiently expressed during inflammation is a novel mammalian lectin. Chang, N.C., Hung, S.I., Hwa, K.Y., Kato, I., Chen, J.E., Liu, C.H., Chang, A.C. J. Biol. Chem. (2001) [Pubmed]
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