Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications vol:380 issue:2 pages:260-265
Searches in an EST database from maize revealed the expression of a protein related to the Galanthus nivalis (GNA) agglutinin, referred to as CNA(maize). Heterologous expression of GNA(maize) in Pichia pastoris allowed characterization of the first nucleocytoplasmic GNA homolog from plants. GNA(maize) is a tetrameric protein which shares 64% sequence similarity with GNA. Glycan microarray analyses revealed important differences in the specificity. Unlike GNA, which binds strongly to high-mannose N-glycans, the lectin from maize reacts almost exclusively with more complex glycans. Interestingly, GNA(maize) prefers complex glycans containing beta 1-2 GlcNAc residues. The obvious difference in carbohydrate-binding properties is accompanied by a 100-fold reduced anti-HIV activity. Although the sequences of GNA and GNA(maize) are clearly related they show only 28% sequence identity. Our results indicate that gene divergence within the family of GNA-related lectins leads to changes in carbohydrate-binding specificity, as shown on N-glycan arrays. (c) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.