The affinity of concanavalin A (Con A) for simple saccharides has been known for over 50 years. However, the specificity of binding of Con A with cell-surface related carbohydrates has only recently been examined in detail. Brewer and coworkers [J Biol Chem (1986) 261:7306-10; J Biol Chem (1987) 262:1288-93; J Biol Chem (1987) 262:1294-99] have recently studied the binding interactions of a series of oligomannose and bisected hybrid type glycopeptides and complex type glycopeptides and oligosaccharides with Con A. The relative affinities of the carbohydrates were determined using hemagglutination inhibition measurements, and their modes of binding to the lectin examined by nuclear magnetic relaxation dispersion (NMRD) spectroscopy and quantitative precipitation analyses. The equivalence zones (regions of maximum precipitation) of the precipitin curves of Con A and the carbohydrates indicate that certain oligomannose and bisected hybrid type glycopeptides are bivalent for lectin binding. From the NMRD and precipitation data, two protein binding sites on each glycopeptide have been identified and characterized. Certain bisected complex type oligosaccharides also bind and precipitate Con A, while the corresponding nonbisected analogs bind but do not precipitate the protein. The precipitation data indicate that the bisected complex type oligosaccharides are also bivalent for lectin binding, while the nonbisected analogs are univalent. The NMRD and precipitation data are consistent with different mechanisms of binding of nonbisected and bisected complex type carbohydrates to Con A, including different conformations of the bound saccharides.
- asparagine-linked glycopeptides
- concanavalin A
- nuclear magnetic relaxation dispersion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology