Effects of plant lectins on sea urchin (Lytechinus variegatus) fertilization and a partial characterization of lectin-binding involved in the process were evaluated. IC50 doses for inhibition of fertilization varied from 4.1 to 135.5 μg/ml when the lectins were pre-incubated with sperms and from 0.7 to 33.4 μg/ml when pre-incubated with eggs. Such effects were reversed when the lectins were heat inactivated. FITC-labeled lectins bound egg surfaces while their denatured forms did not. Glucose/mannose specific lectins bound weaker to eggs when pre-incubated with the glycoprotein bovine lactotransferrin. None of the glycoproteins assayed diminished FITC patterns of the Gal/GalNAc binding lectins. Pre-incubation of Glucose/mannose binding lectins with eggs did not alter binding of Gal/GalNAc lectins. Lectins with distinct competencies for binding monosaccharide and glycoconjugates were able to inhibit sea urchin fertilization.
Keywords: Cell-protein interaction, FITC-labeled lectins, glycoconjugates
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