Comparative analysis of core-fucose-binding lectins from Lens culinaris and Pisum sativum using frontal affinity chromatography

Glycobiology. 2009 May;19(5):527-36. doi: 10.1093/glycob/cwp016. Epub 2009 Feb 13.


Lens culinaris lectin (LCA) is a useful probe for the detection in serum of a core-fucosylated alpha-fetoprotein, called AFP-L3 fraction, which is a well-known marker for the diagnosis and prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma. Here we performed a systematic quantitative interaction analysis of LCA and its close homolog, Pisum sativum lectin (PSA), by frontal affinity chromatography with 143 pyridylaminated (PA) glycans including a series of core-fucosylated glycans. Both lectins showed binding affinity to core-fucosylated, mono- and bi-antennary N-glycans, but not to their tri- and tetra-antennary forms, indicating that the addition of the GlcNAc residue at the N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase IV position abrogates the binding affinity. However, their specificities are distinguishable: while LCA showed the highest affinity to the core-fucosylated, agalactosylated, bi-antennary N-glycan (K(a)=1.1 x 10(5) M(-1)), PSA showed the highest affinity to the core-fucosylated, trimannosyl structure (K(a)=1.2 x 10(5) M(-1)). Glycan-binding specificities of LCA and PSA were also analyzed by glycoconjugate microarray compared to other core-fucose-binding lectins from Aspergillus oryzae (AOL) and Aleuria auratia (AAL). LCA and PSA bound specifically to core fucose, whereas AOL and AAL exhibited broad specificity to fucosylated glycans. These results explain why LCA is appropriate as a specific probe for AFP-L3, which mainly contains a core-fucosylated, biantennary N-glycan, but not its highly branched forms.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Line
  • Chromatography, Affinity
  • Fucose / chemistry
  • Fucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lens Plant / metabolism*
  • Microarray Analysis
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases / metabolism
  • Peas / metabolism*
  • Plant Lectins / chemistry
  • Plant Lectins / metabolism*
  • Polysaccharides / chemistry
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism
  • alpha-Fetoproteins / metabolism


  • Plant Lectins
  • Polysaccharides
  • alpha-Fetoproteins
  • pea lectin
  • Fucose
  • N-Acetylglucosaminyltransferases
  • N-acetyllactosaminide beta-1,6-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase