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Multiplicity of carbohydrate-binding sites in \beta-prism fold lectins: occurrence and possible evolutionary implications

Alok, Sharma and Chandran, Divya and Singh, Desh D and Vijayan, M (2007) Multiplicity of carbohydrate-binding sites in \beta-prism fold lectins: occurrence and possible evolutionary implications. In: Journal of Biosciences, 32 (6). pp. 1089-1110.


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The \beta-prism II fold lectins of known structure, all from monocots, invariably have three carbohydrate-binding sites in each subunit/domain. Until recently, \beta-prism I fold lectins of known structure were all from dicots and they exhibited one carbohydrate-binding site per subunit/domain. However, the recently determined structure of the \beta-prism fold I lectin from banana, a monocot, has two very similar carbohydrate-binding sites. This prompted a detailed analysis of all the sequences appropriate for two-lectin folds and which carry one or more relevant carbohydrate-binding motifs. The very recent observation of a \beta-prism I fold lectin, griffthsin, with three binding sites in each domain further confirmed the need for such an analysis. The analysis demonstrates substantial diversity in the number of binding sites unrelated to the taxonomical position of the plant source. However, the number of binding sites and the symmetry within the sequence exhibit reasonable correlation. The distribution of the two families of \beta-prism fold lectins among plants and the number of binding sites in them, appear to suggest that both of them arose through successive gene duplication, fusion and divergent evolution of the same primitive carbohydrate-binding motif involving a Greek key. Analysis with sequences in individual Greek keys as independent units lends further support to this conclusion.It would seem that the preponderance of three carbohydrate-binding sites per domain in monocot lectins, particularly those with the \beta-prism II fold, is related to the role of plant lectins in defence.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publication: Journal of Biosciences
Publisher: Indian Academy of Science
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Indian Academy of Science.
Keywords: beta-prism fold;carbohydrate-binding;evolution;gene duplication;multiple ligand sites.
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Biophysics Unit
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2008
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 04:47
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/15058

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