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Lectins & Glycobiology

High-quality, purified lectins and other reagents for glycobiology and other applications

Lectins are sugar-binding proteins found in plants, fungi, microorganisms, and animals. They bind glycoconjugates in much the same way as antibodies bind antigens. As a result, researchers use lectins to explore a myriad of biological structures and processes.

Lectins bind specific carbohydrate structures, so you can use them in glycobiology to:

Separate oligosaccharides, even those with identical sugar compositions

Discriminate between oligosaccharide structures

Isolate a specific glycoconjugate, cell, or virus from a mixture

Some lectins can induce mitosis, so you can use them to investigate the process of lymphocyte blastogenesis and the biochemical and structural alterations associated with mitogenesis. These important applications include lymphokine production and viral coat protein (eg gp120) isolation.  

Vector Laboratories — a leader in lectins and other glycobiology products

At Vector Laboratories, we employ crystallization, precipitation, and chromatographic procedures as well as affinity chromatography to purify our lectins. We monitor the purification process carefully and assess the final product through:

Immunoprecipitation with antisera

Agglutination titer

Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis

Binding activity to specific affinity columns

We do this to ensure you have the best lectins available on the market.

Validation data for Vector's Lectins

A selection of Vector Laboratories’ lectin products is validated by the National Center for Functional Glycomics (NCFG) using the Consortium for Functional Glycomics (CFG) glycan arrays. The NCFG analyzes the glycan specificity of each lectin lot and makes the data available to the public on the NCFG website.

Lectins and Coronavirus Research 

A current topical use of lectins is in coronavirus research. There are 20-30 sites of glycosylation on the S protein, which is responsible for mediating attachment of the virus to the host cell. Mannose binding lectins have been shown to interfere with this attachment, and N- and O- glycosylation of either the SARS CoV-2 spike protein or host receptor can have a dramatic effect on the mechanism of viral entry. 

Further reading can be found here, and in the lectin guide below. 

Learn how lectins are used in research

The Lectins Application and Resource Guide is a content rich educational booklet that provides insight into how lectins are applied in biological sciences. With a focus on plant derived lectins, the guide showcases the flexibility and utilization of lectins and lectin conjugates in established lab applications.

Learn how lectins are used in identifying changing glycan profiles in normal and disease states, and as valuable tools for cellular marking, neural tracing, in vivo vasculogenesis mapping, viral capture, and much more. This guide will have broad appeal for both novices and experts alike.

This Guide Offers You:

An introduction to lectins

Twelve applications using lectins, including general procedures, images, and published references

Tables highlighting lectin sugar specificity, properties, and structures

Functional validation data from the National Centre for Functional Glycomics (NCFG)

Insight into the use of lectins in coronavirus research

View Lectins guide