A lectin was purified from Japanese sea hare Aplysia kurodai by lactosyl-agarose affinity chromatography. The molecular mass of the lectin was determined to be 56 and 32 kDa by SDS-PAGE under non-reducing and reducing conditions, respectively. It was found to agglutinate trypsinized and glutaraldehyde-fixed rabbit and human erythrocytes in the absence of divalent cations. The lectin exhibited stable thermo-tolerance as it retained hemagglutinating activity for 1 h even at 80°C and showed stability at pH 10. By contrast, it was very sensitive at pH less than 5 and in the presence of the sulfhydryl-group preserving reagent, β-mercaptoethanol. The hemagglutinating activity by the lectin was specifically inhibited by D-galactose, galacturonic acid, methyl-α- and methyl-β-D- galactopyranoside, lactose, melibiose, and asialofetuin. The association rate constant (k ass) and dissociation rate constant (k diss) were determined for the lectin to be 4.3•105 M -1•sec-1 and 2.2•10-3 sec -1, respectively, using a surface plasmon resonance biosensor. The lectin moderately inhibited cell proliferation in the P388 cell line dose dependently. Interestingly, lectin-treated cells did not show a fragmented DNA ladder as is caused by apoptosis, suggesting that the cell proliferation inhibition was caused by another unknown mechanism.
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