Lectin‐carbohydrate interactions: Studies of the nature of hydrogen bonding between D‐galactose and certain D‐galactose‐specific lectins, and between D‐mannose and concanavalin A


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The binding of galactose‐specific lectins from Erythrina indica (EIL), Erythrina arborescens (EAL), Ricinus communis (agglutinin; RCA‐I), Abrus precatorius (agglutinin; APA), and Bandeiraea simplicifolia (lectin I; BSL‐I) to fluoro‐, deoxy‐, and thiogalactoses were studied in order to determine the strength of hydrogen bonds between the hydroxyl groups of galactose and the binding sites of the proteins. The results have allowed insight into the nature of the donor/acceptor groups in the lectins that are involved in hydrogen bonding with the sugar. The data indicate that the C‐2 hydroxyl group of galactose is involved in weak interactions as a hydrogen‐bond acceptor with uncharged groups of EIL and EAL. With RCA‐I, the C‐2 hydroxyl group forms two weak hydrogen bonds in the capacity of a hydrogen‐bond acceptor and a donor. On the other hand, there is a strong hydrogen bond between the C‐2 hydroxyl group of galactose, which acts as a donor, and a charged group on BSL‐I. The C‐2 hydroxyl group of the sugar is also a hydrogen‐bond donor to APA. The lectins are involved in strong hydrogen bonds through charged groups with the C‐3 and C‐4 hydroxyl groups of galactose, with the latter serving as hydrogen‐bond donors. The C‐6 hydroxyl group of the sugar is weakly hydrogen bonded with neutral groups of EIL, EAL, and APA. With BSL‐I, however, a strong hydrogen bond is formed at this position with a charged group of the lectin. The C‐6 hydroxyl groups is a hydrogen‐bond acceptor for EIL and EAL, a hydrogen‐bond donor for APA and BSL‐I, and appears not to be involved in binding to RCA‐I. The data with the thiosugars indicate the involvement of the C‐l hydroxyl group of galactose in binding to EIL, EAL, and BSL‐I, but not to RCA‐I and APA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-212
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Biochemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1988


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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