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A novel homodimeric lectin from Astragalus mongholicus with antifungal activity

A novel lectin (AMML) was isolated from a Chinese herb, i.e., the roots of Astragalus mongholicus, using a combination of ammonium sulfate fraction and ion exchange chromatographies. The molecular mass of intact AMML was determined to be 66,396 Da by MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and 61.8 kDa by gel Wltration, respectively. AMML was a dimeric protein composed of two identical subunits each with a molecular mass of 29.6 kDa. The lectin was a glycoprotein with a neutral carbohydrate content of 19.6%. The purified lectin hemagglutinated both rabbit and human erythrocytes, and showed preference for blood types O (native) and AB (trypsin-treated). Among various carbohydrates tested,the lectin was best inhibited by D-galactose and its derivatives with pronounced preference for lactose (3.13 mM). N-terminal amino acid sequence of AMML was determined as ESGINLQGDATL ANN. The optimal pH range for lectin activity was between pH 4.5 and 7.5, and the lectin was active up to 65 °C. Italso exerted anti-fungal activity against Botrytis cincerea, Fusariumoxysporum, Colletorichum sp., and Drechslera turcia but not against Rhizoctoniasolani and Mycosphaerella arachidicola.

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