Cloning and characterization of novel jacalin-related lectin from Aspergillus fumigatus

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Year of publication 2012
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Description Lectins are proteins or glycoproteins of non-immune origin which recognize and bind reversibly to diverse sugar structures. They are involved in recognition events in a variety of biological processes, such as regulation of cell cycle, targeting of cells, host-pathogen interactions, plant defense and cell differentiation. Jacalin-related proteins (JRPs) represent a family of lectins that are structurally related to jacalin, a well-known plant seed lectin isolated from jack fruit. JRPs are widespread among plants, while only few members have been found in fungi so far. Despite high sequence similarity among jacalin-related proteins, they differ from each other with respect to carbohydrate-binding preferences. Aspergillus fumigatus is an ubiquitous saprophytic mold and opportunistic human pathogen responsible for severe infections in cystic fibrosis and lung transplant patients. Inhalation of the spores from the environment can result in invasive fungal infections and represents a serious threat for individuals with compromised immunity. In A. fumigatus, lectins are supposed to provide a possible mechanism of attachment of conidia to host tissues and could be an important virulence factor. The project is focused on cloning and characterization of a hypothetical lectin AFL4 from ascomycete A. fumigatus which shares a sequence similarity with JRPs. The afl4 gene was amplified, cloned into a plasmid vector and expressed in bacterial expression system. AFL4 is currently experimentally studied and should be characterized from structure-function point of view.
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