Galactose-specific seed lectins from Cucurbitaceae

Curr Protein Pept Sci. 2015;16(1):17-30. doi: 10.2174/1389203716666150213155602.


Lectins, the carbohydrate binding proteins have been studied extensively in view of their ubiquitous nature and wide-ranging applications. As they were originally found in plant seed extracts, much of the work on them was focused on plant seed lectins, especially those from legume seeds whereas much less attention was paid to the lectins from other plant families. During the last two decades many studies have been reported on lectins from the seeds of Cucurbitaceae species. The main focus of the present review is to provide an overview of the current knowledge on these proteins, especially with regard to their physico-chemical characterization, interaction with carbohydrates and hydrophobic ligands, 3-dimensional structure and similarity to type-II ribosome inactivating proteins. The future outlook of research on these galactose-specific proteins is also briefly considered.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Carbohydrates
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Cucurbitaceae / genetics
  • Cucurbitaceae / metabolism*
  • Galactose / chemistry
  • Galactose / metabolism*
  • Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions
  • Ligands
  • Nucleosides / metabolism
  • Plant Lectins / chemistry*
  • Plant Lectins / genetics
  • Plant Lectins / isolation & purification
  • Plant Lectins / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Interaction Domains and Motifs
  • Protein Unfolding
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / metabolism*
  • Thermodynamics


  • Carbohydrates
  • Ligands
  • Nucleosides
  • Plant Lectins
  • Galactose