Lectins are a heterogeneous group of proteins that specifically and reversibly bind to carbohydrates without altering
their covalent structure. Advances in the plant lectin research have provided many insights into the role of carbohydrate-
protein interactions, which have contributed to the development of various others (for example: oncology, immunology,
microbiology, molecular biology and diagnostic). Isolectins isolated from Cratylia mollis, a native plant of Brazilian
Caatinga biome, have demonstrated a remarkable biotechnological aptitude, especially the isoform called Cramoll 1,4
(pCramoll). This work aims to present a comprehensive review of the biomedical applications of pCramoll, which has
been used as immunomodulatory, antitumoral, mitogenic, antiparasitic, and healing agent. Other biotechnological applications
also involve the characterization of human cancerous tissues, and the development of af nity matrices and biosensors.
The present review comprises of four main themes: (1) an overview of plant lectins and their biological effects; (2)
general characteristics of the pCramoll; (3) biotechnological applications of this lectin; and (4) recent progress in production
of pCramoll in heterologous system. The process of isolation, structural characterization and biotechnological applications
of pCramoll is one of the greatest success stories among Brazilian lectins. Recently, the expression of functional
recombinant Cramoll 1 (rCramoll) in Escherichia coli was reported by our group. This review will be a valuable resource
for more studies in the lectin field, which has a great potential to reveal new targets for therapeutic strategies, molecular
diagnosis and biotechnology process.