Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 523–536 | Cite as

Molecular cloning of the bark and seed lectins from the Japanese pagoda tree (Sophora japonica)

  • Els J.M. Van Damme
  • Annick Barre
  • Pierre Rougé
  • Willy J. Peumans


cDNA clones encoding the bark and seed lectins from Sophora japonica were isolated and their sequences analyzed. Screening of a cDNA library constructed from polyA RNA isolated from the bark resulted in the isolation of three different lectin cDNA clones. The first clone encodes the GalNAc-specific bark lectin which was originally described by Hankins et al. whereas the other clones encode the two isoforms of the mannose/glucose-specific lectin reported by Ueno et al.. Molecular cloning of the seed lectin genes revealed that Sophora seeds contain only a GalNAc-specific lectin which is highly homologous to though not identical with the GalNAc-specific lectin from the bark. All lectin polypeptides are translated from mRNAs of ca. 1.3 kb encoding a precursor carrying a signal peptide. In the case of the mannose/glucose-specific bark lectins this precursor is post-translationally processed in two smaller peptides. Alignment of the deduced amino acid sequences of the different clones revealed striking sequence similarities between the mannose/glucose-binding and the GalNAc-specific lectins. Furthermore, there was a high degree of sequence homology with other legume lectins which allowed molecular modelling of the Sophora lectins using the coordinates of the Pisum sativum, Lathyrus ochrus and Erythrina corallodendron lectins.

bark proteins cDNA cloning lectin Sophora japonica 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Els J.M. Van Damme
    • 1
  • Annick Barre
    • 2
  • Pierre Rougé
    • 2
  • Willy J. Peumans
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory for Phytopathology and Plant ProtectionKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Institut de Pharmacologie et Biologie Structurale, UPR CNRS 9062Université Paul SabatierToulouse CedexFrance

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