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Sclerotium rolfsii lectin (SRL) exerts apoptotic effect against various cancer cells and an antitumor activity on mice with colon and breast cancer xenografts. The current study aimed to explore its exquisite carbohydrate specificity on human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and leukemic T-cells. SRL, showed strong binding (>98%) to resting/activated PBMCs, leukemic Molt-4 and Jurkat cell lines. The glycans mediated binding to these cells was effectively blocked by mucin and fetuin, exhibiting 97% and 94% inhibition respectively. SRL showed mitogenic stimulation of PBMCs at 10 μg/ml as determined by thymidine incorporation assay. In contrast, lectin induced a dose dependent growth inhibition of Molt-4 cells with 58% inhibition at 25 μg/ml. Many common membrane receptors in activated PBMCs, Molt 4 and Jurkat cells were identified by lectin blotting. However, membrane receptors that are recognized by SRL in normal resting PBMCs were totally different and are high molecular weight glycoproteins. Treatment of membrane receptors with glycosidases prior to lectin probing, revealed that fucosylated Thomsen-Friedenreich(TF) antigen glycans are increasingly expressed on transformed Molt-4 leukemic cells compared to other cells. The findings highlight the opposite effects of SRL on transformed and normal hematopoietic cells by recognizing different glycan-receptors. SRL has promising potential for diagnostics and therapeutic applications in leukaemia.


Vishwanath B Chachadi, Radha Pujari, Padma Shastry, Bale M Swamy, Shashikala R Inamdar. Sclerotium rolfsii lectin induces opposite effects on normal PBMCs and leukemic Molt-4 cells by recognising TF antigen and its variants as receptors. Glycoconjugate journal. 2020 Apr;37(2):251-261

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PMID: 31900725

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