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Structural biology of plant lectins and macromolecular crystallography in India

Sivaji, Nukathoti and Suguna, Kaza and Surolia, Avadhesha and Vijayan, Mamannamana (2019) Structural biology of plant lectins and macromolecular crystallography in India. In: CURRENT SCIENCE, 116 (9). pp. 1490-1505.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.18520/cs/v116/i9/1490-1505


Earnest attempts at initiating macromolecular crystallography, which is central to modern biology, started in India in the 1970s. The most important component of the efforts was on plant lectins. The lectin programme was continuously and almost exclusively supported by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India. Lectins are quintessential carbohydrate-binding proteins and have acquired considerable importance in relation to biological recognition at cell surface. The plant lectin programme at Bengaluru spanned 40 years and was instrumental in making significant contributions to glycobiology. The work has also produced important results pertaining to protein folding, quaternary association and strategies for generating ligand specificities. The role of the lectin programme in mentoring scientists has been important and many of the senior macromolecular crystallographers in the country were initially trained under this programme. Studies on plant lectins led to those on mycobacterial and archeal lectins. The lectin work has also served as a springboard for the initiation of several other long-range programmes which, in addition to yielding important results, have also helped in training scientists, many of whom are again leaders of structural biology in India. Perhaps, majority of macromolecular crystallographers in India are those who have been trained at Bengaluru and their descendants. Particularly in recent years, there has been an influx of scientists trained in other centres, who have added vibrance to the macromolecular crystallography community. The community is now reasonably coherent, with constructive interactions among its members, and with several common programmes and shared facilities.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: The copyright for this article belongs to Indian Academy of Sciences
Keywords: Ligand specificity; macromolecular crystallography; plant lectins; protein folding; quaternary association
Department/Centre: Division of Biological Sciences > Molecular Biophysics Unit
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2019 17:45
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2019 17:45
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ac.in/id/eprint/62772

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