Section 4
Chapter 3,376

Carbohydrate specificity of a toxic lectin, abrin A, from the seeds of Abrus precatorius (jequirity bean)

Wu, A.M.; Wu, J.H.; Herp, A.; Chow, L.P.; Lin, J.Y.

Life Sciences 69(17): 2027-2038


ISSN/ISBN: 0024-3205
PMID: 11589518
DOI: 10.1016/s0024-3205(01)01298-x
Accession: 003375829

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To elucidate of the mechanism of intoxication, the affinity of a toxic lectin, abrin A, from the seeds of Abrus precatorius for mammalian carbohydrate ligands, was studied by enzyme linked lectinosorbent assay and by inhibition of abrin A-glycan interaction. From the results, it is concluded that: (1) abrin A reacted well with Gal beta1-->4GlcNAc (II), Gal alpha1-->4Gal (E), and Gal beta1-->3GalNAc (T) containing glycoproteins. But it reacted weakly with sialylated gps and human blood group A,B,H active glycoproteins (gps); (2) the combining site of abrin A lectin should be of a shallow groove type as this lectin is able to recognize from monosaccharides with specific configuration at C-3, C-4, and deoxy C-6 of the (D)Fuc pyranose ring to penta-saccharides and probably internal Gal alpha,beta-->; and (3) its binding affinity toward mammalian structural features can be ranked in decreasing order as follows: cluster forms of II, T, B/E (Gal alpha1-->3/4Gal) > monomeric T > monomeric II > monomeric B/E, Gal > GalNAc > monomeric I >> Man and Glc (inactive). These active glycotopes can be used to explain the possible structural requirements for abrin A toxin attachment.

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