Lectin Expression Patterns during Erythrina abyssinica and Abrus precatorius Seeds Germination: ‎A Prelude towards Understanding the Enigmatic Biological Role of Plant Lectin

Majda Mohammed E. Ahmed , Mutasim Elsalik. A. Hamed , Emadeldin Hassan E. Konozy


Lectins are a divergent group of carbohydrate-binding proteins of non-immune origin that are widely spread in all kingdoms of life. Several postulations have been put forward to describe the physiological obscure functions of plant lectins. Functions such as storage proteins, defensive role against predators or as endogenous enzyme stabilizer were suggested. This work was undertaken to enable further investigation on the possible role of plant lectins. Dry good quality seeds of Erythrina Abyssinica (ErA) and Abrus precatorius (AbP) were germinated under humid conditions for 21 days. Two-gram seeds were harvested and proteins were extracted every other day. Protein content and lectin activity were monitored. The two seeds under study showed that their protein content was gradually degraded. The three isoforms of lectin, obtained by AmS fractionation, also exhibited a gradual decline in their activities, however, they did not follow similar degradation patterns and some of them prevailed active during the entire germination course. These results support the theories that emphasize a physiological, yet to be disclosed significance for legume lectin other than merely being as a storage protein, and may, therefore, represent a mosaic piece in our race for revealing the exact physiology of plant lectin‎‎.

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