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

Interaction of sulfated glycosaminoglycans with lectins.

The sulfated glycosaminoglycans, such as keratan sulfate and chitin sulfate having 3-hydroxy free N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosaminyl residues as constituents, reacted with wheat germ agglutinin and Solanum tuberosum agglutinin by sugar-specific interaction. The glycosaminoglycans showed different inhibitory activities to the hemagglutination reaction of these lectins and keratan sulfate and its modified products formed insoluble complexes with both of the lectins at pH 7.0 in physiological saline solutions (0.15 M NaCl). S. tuberosum agglutinin was precipitated within a particularly narrow concentration range of keratan sulfate, and the formation of a soluble complex was observed by gel chromatography. These interactions were specifically inhibited by N,N'-diacetylchitobiose but not by 2 M NaCl. The specific interactions of the glycosaminoglycans with S. tuberosum agglutinin were confirmed by their ultraviolet difference spectra with two peaks at 285 and 298 nm attributable to the tryptophan residues in the binding site of the agglutinin. It was also found that S. tuberosum agglutinin and wheat germ agglutinin have different binding specificities. The presence of sulfate groups in either keratan sulfate or chitin sulfate did not interfere with their specific interactions with S. tuberosum agglutinin as strongly as with wheat germ agglutinin. The N-acetylneuraminic acid residues in keratan sulfate were found to be receptor sites for wheat germ agglutinin but not for S. tuberosum agglutinin.[1]


  1. Interaction of sulfated glycosaminoglycans with lectins. Toda, N., Doi, A., Jimbo, A., Matsumoto, I., Seno, N. J. Biol. Chem. (1981) [Pubmed]
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