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Inhibition of Sea Urchin Fertilization by Plant Lectins

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Effects of plant lectins on sea urchin (Lytechinus variegatus) fertilization and a partial characterization of lectin-binding involved in the process were evaluated. IC50 doses for inhibition of fertilization varied from 4.1 to 135.5 μg/ml when the lectins were pre-incubated with sperms and from 0.7 to 33.4 μg/ml when pre-incubated with eggs. Such effects were reversed when the lectins were heat inactivated. FITC-labeled lectins bound egg surfaces while their denatured forms did not. Glucose/mannose specific lectins bound weaker to eggs when pre-incubated with the glycoprotein bovine lactotransferrin. None of the glycoproteins assayed diminished FITC patterns of the Gal/GalNAc binding lectins. Pre-incubation of Glucose/mannose binding lectins with eggs did not alter binding of Gal/GalNAc lectins. Lectins with distinct competencies for binding monosaccharide and glycoconjugates were able to inhibit sea urchin fertilization.

Keywords: Cell-protein interaction; FITC-labeled lectins; glycoconjugates

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2007

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.

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