A previously unidentified glycoprotein present in the eggs of the carp (Cyprinus carpio) was isolated and structurally characterized. The protein binds to a Sepharose 4B matrix and can be eluted with 0.4 M N-acetylglucosamine. The protein has an apparent molecular mass of 26686.3 Da. On the basis of gel-filtration chromatography, the protein appears to be present in solution as a monomer. The sequence of its 238 amino acids, the position of its four disulphide bridges and the composition of its single N-linked carbohydrate chain were determined. The lectin shows a very low agglutinating activity for human A-type erythrocytes and interacts with both Gram-positive and -negative bacteria. These latter interactions are inhibited by N-acetylglucosamine. A database search shows that its amino acid sequence is similar to that of the members of an invertebrate lectin family that includes tachylectin-1. Tachylectin-1 is present in the amoebocytes of the horseshoe crab, Tachypleus tridentatus, and plays a role in the innate defence system of this species. Homologous genes are also present in other fish, having 85% identity with a gene expressed in the oocytes of the crucian carp (Carassius auratus gibelio) and 78% identity with a gene in the cDNA library of the zebrafish (Danio rerio).
- fish-egg lectin (FEL)
- innate immunity
- primary structure
Abbreviations used: ES, electrospray; FEL, fish-egg lectin; MALDI, matrix-assisted laser-desorption ionization; TFA, trifluoroacetic acid; TPL-1, tachypleus plasma lectin-1.
- The Biochemical Society, London ©2003