, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 309-320
Date: 06 Mar 2010

Purification, characterization and molecular cloning of a monocot mannose-binding lectin from Remusatia vivipara with nematicidal activity

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A mannose-binding lectin (RVL) was purified from the tubers of Remusatia vivipara, a monocot plant by single-step affinity chromatography on asialofetuin-Sepharose 4B. RVL agglutinated only rabbit erythrocytes and was inhibited by mucin, asialomucin, asialofetuin and thyroglobulin. Lectin activity was stable up to 80°C and under wide range of pH (2.0–9.3). SDS-PAGE and gel filtration results showed the lectin is a homotetramer of Mr 49.5 kDa, but MALDI analysis showed two distinct peaks corresponding to subunit mass of 12 kDa and 12.7 kDa. Also the N-terminal sequencing gave two different sequences indicating presence of two polypeptide chains. Cloning of RVL gene indicated posttranslational cleavage of RVL precursor into two mature polypeptides of 116 and 117 amino-acid residues. Dynamic light scattering (DLS) and gel filtration studies together confirmed the homogeneity of the purified lectin and supported RVL as a dimer with Mr 49.5 kDa derived from single polypeptide precursor of 233 amino acids. Purified RVL exerts potent nematicidal activity on Meloidogyne incognita, a root knot nematode. Fluorescent confocal microscopic studies demonstrated the binding of RVL to specific regions of the alimentary-tract and exhibited a potent toxic effect on M. incognita. RVL-mucin complex failed to interact with the gut confirming the receptor mediated lectin interaction. Very high mortality (88%) rate was observed at lectin concentration as low as 30 µg/ml, suggesting its potential application in the development of nematode resistant transgenic-crops.