The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology vol:12 issue:6 pages:1251-60
The major protein of elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) fruits is a lectin, called Sambucus nigra agglutinin IVf or SNAIVf. This lectin is composed of subunits that strongly resemble the B chain of the type 2 ribosome-inactivating protein (RIP), called SNAVf, present in the same tissue. To corroborate the possible relationship between both proteins their corresponding cDNAs were cloned and compared. Alignment of the deduced amino acid sequences revealed that the cDNA encoding SNAIVf is almost identical to that of SNAVf except that its A chain is truncated. Northern blot analysis confirmed that the mRNA encoding SNAIVf is about 500 nucleotides shorter than the SNAVf mRNA. In addition, the occurrence of a truncated type 2 RIP gene was unambiguously demonstrated by the analysis of PCR amplified genomic sequences. These results not only demonstrate for the first time that a plant lectin is encoded by a truncated type 2 RIP gene but also address important questions with respect to the molecular evolution of RIP and lectins.