Introduction

The Canavalia genus of Papilionoideae vines includes about 51 species that exhibit wonderful variation and distribution patterns (see Sauer, 1964, for review), and is popularly known as

Lane 2: purified lectin from C. grandiflora (ConGF). a, b, g = fragments.

Mucuna or "Feijao Bravo" (wild bean). Canavalia is palatable to livestock and high in protein; however, it contains toxic compounds and must be used with caution. Usually Canavalia is used as a green adubation to improve soil productivity. The seeds of various Canavalia species are used as a source of important lectins that have already been purified and characterized, such as concanavalin A from Canavalia ensiformis seeds, and ConGF from Canavalia grandiflora seeds.

ConGF is a D-glucose/D-mannose-specific lectin with physicochemical and structural properties similar to those of lectins from Canavalia and related genera from the subtribe Diocleinae. ConGF was purified by affinity chromatography on Sephadex G-50 (Ceccatto et al., 2002). By SDS polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, ConGF yielded three protein bands with apparent molecular masses of 29—30 kDa (alpha chain), 16—18 kDa (beta fragment), and 12—13 kDa (gamma fragment) (Figure 94.1). The amino acid composition analysis of ConGF showed that the protein is rich in aspartic acid and serine (Table 94.1). Methionine and cysteine residues were not detected. This profile is very similar to the amino acid composition shown by other Diocleinae lectins, and it is characteristic of most plant stored seed proteins. Furthermore, ConGF demonstrates important effects as a modulator of key inflammatory events accruing at the interface of leukocytes and the vascular endothelium during inflammatory responses.

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Health And Fitness 101

Health And Fitness 101

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