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1.  Comparative Protein Composition Analysis of Goat Milk Produced by the Alpine and Saanen Breeds in Northeastern Brazil and Related Antibacterial Activities 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e93361.
The protein composition of goat milk differs between goat breeds and could present regional trends. The aim of this study was to comparatively analyze the protein composition of goat milk produced by the Alpine and Saanen breeds in northeastern Brazil and to evaluate the antibacterial activity of its protein fractions. SDS-PAGE, 2-DE electrophoresis and RP-HPLC analyses revealed the absence of αs1-casein in the milk of both breeds and no differences between the αs2-casein, β-casein, β-lactoglobulin and α-lactalbumin profiles. The amounts of soluble proteins and β-casein hydrolysis residues were higher in Saanen milk. Only the protein fraction containing the largest amounts of casein (F60–90%) inhibited bacterial growth, with MIC values between 50 and 100 mg/mL. This study describe for the first time three important points about the goat milk protein of two Brazilian goat breeders: absence of α-s1 casein in the protein profile, differences between the milk protein composition produced by goats of Alpine and Saanen breeders and antibacterial activity of unbroken proteins (casein-rich fraction) present in these milk.
PMCID: PMC3968165  PMID: 24675996
2.  Molecular Modeling of Lectin-Like Protein from Acacia farnesiana Reveals a Possible Anti-Inflammatory Mechanism in Carrageenan-Induced Inflammation 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:253483.
Acacia farnesiana lectin-like protein (AFAL) is a chitin-binding protein and has been classified as phytohaemagglutinin from Phaseolus vulgaris (PHA). Legume lectins are examples for structural studies, and this family of proteins shows a remarkable conservation in primary, secondary, and tertiary structures. Lectins have ability to reduce the effects of inflammation caused by phlogistic agents, such as carrageenan (CGN). This paper explains the anti-inflammatory activity of AFAL through structural comparison with anti-inflammatory legume lectins. The AFAL model was obtained by molecular modeling and molecular docking with glycan and carrageenan were performed to explain the AFAL structural behavior and biological activity. Pisum sativum lectin was the best template for molecular modeling. The AFAL structure model is folded as a β sandwich. The model differs from template in loop regions, number of β strands and carbohydrate-binding site. Carrageenan and glycan bind to different sites on AFAL. The ability of AFAL binding to carrageenan can be explained by absence of the sixth β-strand (posterior β sheets) and two β strands in frontal region. AFAL can inhibit pathway inflammatory process by carrageenan injection by connecting to it and preventing its entry into the cell and triggers the reaction.
PMCID: PMC3893743  PMID: 24490151
3.  Structure of a lectin from Canavalia gladiata seeds: new structural insights for old molecules 
Lectins are mainly described as simple carbohydrate-binding proteins. Previous studies have tried to identify other binding sites, which possible recognize plant hormones, secondary metabolites, and isolated amino acid residues. We report the crystal structure of a lectin isolated from Canavalia gladiata seeds (CGL), describing a new binding pocket, which may be related to pathogen resistance activity in ConA-like lectins; a site where a non-protein amino-acid, α-aminobutyric acid (Abu), is bound.
The overall structure of native CGL and complexed with α-methyl-mannoside and Abu have been refined at 2.3 Å and 2.31 Å resolution, respectively. Analysis of the electron density maps of the CGL structure shows clearly the presence of Abu, which was confirmed by mass spectrometry.
The presence of Abu in a plant lectin structure strongly indicates the ability of lectins on carrying secondary metabolites. Comparison of the amino acids composing the site with other legume lectins revealed that this site is conserved, providing an evidence of the biological relevance of this site. This new action of lectins strengthens their role in defense mechanisms in plants.
PMCID: PMC1955443  PMID: 17683532
4.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of a lectin from Canavalia maritima seeds 
A lectin from C. maritima was crystallized using the vapour-diffusion method and crystals diffracted to 2.1 Å resolution. A molecular-replacement search found a solution with a correlation coefficient of 69.2% and an R factor of 42.5%, refinement is in progress.
A lectin from Canavalia maritima seeds (ConM) was purified and submitted to crystallization experiments. The best crystals were obtained using the vapour-diffusion method at a constant temperature of 293 K and grew in 7 d. A complete structural data set was collected to 2.1 Å resolution using a synchrotron-radiation source. The ConM crystal belongs to the orthorhombic space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 67.15, b = 70.90, c = 97.37 Å. A molecular-replacement search found a solution with a correlation coefficient of 69.2% and an R factor of 42.5%. Crystallographic refinement is under way.
PMCID: PMC1952371  PMID: 16508099
lectins; Canavalia maritima

Results 1-4 (4)