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

Crystal structure of human Charcot-Leyden crystal protein, an eosinophil lysophospholipase, identifies it as a new member of the carbohydrate-binding family of galectins.

BACKGROUND: The Charcot-Leyden crystal (CLC) protein is a major autocrystallizing constituent of human eosinophils and basophils, comprising approximately 10% of the total cellular protein in these granulocytes. Identification of the distinctive hexagonal bipyramidal crystals of CLC protein in body fluids and secretions has long been considered a hallmark of eosinophil-associated allergic inflammation. Although CLC protein possesses lysophospholipase activity, its role(s) in eosinophil or basophil function or associated inflammatory responses has remained speculative. RESULTS: The crystal structure of the CLC protein has been determined at 1.8 A resolution using X-ray crystallography. The overall structural fold of CLC protein is highly similar to that of galectins -1 and -2, members of an animal lectin family formerly classified as S-type or S-Lac (soluble lactose-binding) lectins. This is the first structure of an eosinophil protein to be determined and the highest resolution structure so far determined for any member of the galectin family. CONCLUSIONS: The CLC protein structure possesses a carbohydrate-recognition domain comprising most, but not all, of the carbohydrate-binding residues that are conserved among the galectins. The protein exhibits specific (albeit weak) carbohydrate-binding activity for simple saccharides including N-acetyl-D-glucosamine and lactose. Despite CLC protein having no significant sequence or structural similarities to other lysophospholipase catalytic triad has also been identified within the CLC structure, making it a unique dual-function polypeptide. These structural findings suggest a potential intracellular and/or extracellular role(s) for the galectin- associated activities of CLC protein in eosinophil and basophil function in allergic diseases and inflammation.[1]


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