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1.  Structural Studies of an Anti-Inflammatory Lectin from Canavalia boliviana Seeds in Complex with Dimannosides 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97015.
Plant lectins, especially those purified from species of the Leguminosae family, represent the best-studied group of carbohydrate-binding proteins. Lectins purified from seeds of the Diocleinae subtribe exhibit a high degree of sequence identity notwithstanding that they show very distinct biological activities. Two main factors have been related to this feature: variance in key residues influencing the carbohydrate-binding site geometry and differences in the pH-dependent oligomeric state profile. In this work, we have isolated a lectin from Canavalia boliviana (Cbol) and solved its x-ray crystal structure in the unbound form and in complex with the carbohydrates Man(α1-3)Man(α1-O)Me, Man(α1-4)Man(α1-O)Me and 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-α-D-mannose. We evaluated its oligomerization profile at different pH values using Small Angle X-ray Scattering and compared it to that of Concanavalin A. Based on predicted pKa-shifts of amino acids in the subunit interfaces we devised a model for the dimer-tetramer equilibrium phenomena of these proteins. Additionally, we demonstrated Cbol anti-inflammatory properties and further characterized them using in vivo and in vitro models.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097015
PMCID: PMC4035259  PMID: 24865454
2.  Toxicity and Binding Profile of Lectins from the Genus Canavalia on Brine Shrimp 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:154542.
Lectins are sugar-binding proteins widely distributed in nature with many biological functions. Although many lectins have a remarkable biotechnological potential, some of them can be cytotoxic. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the toxicity of five lectins, purified from seeds of different species of Canavalia genus. In order to determine the toxicity, assays with Artemia nauplii were performed. In addition, a fluorescence assay was carried out to evaluate the binding of lectins to Artemia nauplii. In order to verify the relationship between the structure of lectins and their cytotoxic effect, structural analysis was carried out to evaluate the volume of the carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) of each lectin. The results showed that all lectins exhibited different toxicities and bound to a similar area in the digestive tract of Artemia nauplii. Concerning the structural analysis, differences in spatial arrangement and volume of CRD may explain the variation of the toxicity exhibited by each lectin. To this date, this is the first study that establishes a link between toxicity and structure of CRD from Diocleinae lectins.
doi:10.1155/2013/154542
PMCID: PMC3860074  PMID: 24380079
3.  Characterization of Isoforms of the Lectin Isolated from the Red Algae Bryothamnion seaforthii and Its Pro-Healing Effect 
Marine Drugs  2012;10(9):1936-1954.
Lectins are a structurally heterogeneous group of proteins that have specific binding sites for carbohydrates and glycoconjugates. Because of their biotechnological potential, lectins are widely used in biomedical research. The present study aimed to evaluate the healing potential of the lectin isolated from the marine red alga Bryothamnion seaforthii (BSL). The lectin was purified using ion exchange chromatography with DEAE cellulose and characterized using tandem mass spectrometry. For healing tests, skin wounds were induced in the dorsal thoracic region of mice. These animals were randomly divided into three groups and subjected to topical treatment for 12 days with BSL, bovine serum albumin and 150 mM NaCl. To evaluate the potential of each treatment, the animals were anesthetized and sacrificed on days 2, 7 and 12, respectively. The parameters evaluated included the wound area, the proportion of wound closure and the histological diagnosis. The wound closure was more effective with BSL (Postoperative Day 7 and 12) than controls. The luminal epithelium was completely restructured; the presence of collagen in the dermis and the strongly active presence of young skin annexes demonstrate the potential of treatment with BSL compared with controls. Our findings suggest that BSL has pro-healing properties and can be a potential medical process in the treatment of acute wounds.
doi:10.3390/md10091936
PMCID: PMC3475265  PMID: 23118713
lectins; algal proteins; wound healing
4.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the lectin from Canavalia boliviana Piper seeds 
Canavalia boliviana lectin (Cbol) was purified using a Sephadex G-50 column and crystallized in the presence of X-Man by hanging-drop vapour diffusion at 293 K. After optimization, crystals suitable for diffraction were obtained using 0.1 M HEPES pH 7.5 and 3.0 M sodium formate.
Plant lectins are the most studied group of carbohydrate-binding proteins. Despite the high similarity between the members of the Diocleinae subtribe (Leguminosae) group, they present differing biological activities. Canavalia boliviana lectin (Cbol) was purified using a Sephadex G-50 column and crystallized in the presence of X-Man by hanging-drop vapour diffusion at 293 K. After optimization, crystals suitable for diffraction were obtained under the condition 0.1 M HEPES pH 7.5 and 3.0 M sodium formate. The crystal belonged to the monoclinic space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 126.70, b = 66.64, c = 64.99 Å, α = 90.0, β = 120.8, γ = 90.0°. Assuming the presence of a dimer in the asymmetric unit, the solvent content was estimated to be about 46%. A complete data set was collected at 1.5 Å resolution.
doi:10.1107/S1744309109000797
PMCID: PMC2650465  PMID: 19255467
lectins; Canavalia boliviana Piper

Results 1-4 (4)