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J Biol Chem June 29, 2001; 276 (26): 23456-63.
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Human intelectin is a novel soluble lectin that recognizes galactofuranose in carbohydrate chains of bacterial cell wall.

Tsuji S , Uehori J , Matsumoto M , Suzuki Y , Matsuhisa A , Toyoshima K , Seya T .

Galactofuranosyl residues are present in various microorganisms but not in mammals. In this study, we identified a human lectin binding to galactofuranosyl residues and named this protein human intelectin (hIntL). The mature hIntL was a secretory glycoprotein consisting of 295 amino acids and N-linked oligosaccharides, and its basic structural unit was a 120-kDa homotrimer in which 40-kDa polypeptides were bridged by disulfide bonds. The hIntL gene was split into 8 exons on chromosome 1q21.3, and hIntL mRNA was expressed in the heart, small intestine, colon, and thymus. hIntL showed high levels of homology with mouse intelectin, Xenopus laevis cortical granule lectin/oocyte lectin, lamprey serum lectin, and ascidian galactose-specific lectin. These homologues commonly contained no carbohydrate recognition domain, which is a characteristic of C-type lectins, although some of them have been reported as Ca(2+)-dependent lectins. Recombinant hIntL revealed affinities to d-pentoses and a d-galactofuranosyl residue in the presence of Ca(2+), and recognized the bacterial arabinogalactan of Nocardia containing d-galactofuranosyl residues. These results suggested that hIntL is a new type lectin recognizing galactofuranose, and that hIntL plays a role in the recognition of bacteria-specific components in the host.

PubMed ID: 11313366
Article link: J Biol Chem