, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 691-698

Curculin, a sweet-tasting and taste-modifying protein, is a non-functional mannose-binding lectin

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A three-dimensional model of curculin, a sweet-tasting and taste-modifying protein from the fruits of Curculigo latifolia, was built from the X-ray coordinates of GNA, a mannose-binding lectin from snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis). The three mannose-binding sites present in GNA were found in curculin but are devoid of mannose-binding activity as shown by docking experiments performed with mannose. Some regions well exposed on the surface of the three-dimensional model of curculin could act as epitopes responsible for the sweet-tasting properties of this protein.