Journal of Glycobiology

Journal of Glycobiology
Open Access

ISSN: 2168-958X


Crystal Structure of Colocasia esculenta Tuber Agglutinin at 1.74 Å Resolution and Its Quaternary Interactions

Rajagopal Chattopadhyaya, Himadri Biswas and Apurba Sarkar

Many members of the monocot mannose-binding lectin family, characterized by specificity towards mannose have been characterized and cloned. A majority of these lectins molecules contain 1-4 polypeptides of about 110 residues each. From the previously solved crystal structures of a few such lectins, mostly from non-edible plants, these lectins are thought to possess a common β-prism II fold structure. The major tuber storage protein of Colocasia esculenta is a monocot mannose-binding, widely used, dietary lectin. This tuber agglutinin contains two polypeptides of 12.0 and 12.4 kDa by matrix assisted laser desorption ionisation time-of-flight mass spectrometry. By gel filtration at pH 7.2, the purified lectin has a α2β2 form of apparent molecular mass of 48.2 kDa in solution but at pH 3, it has the heterodimeric αβ form. Lectin crystals were obtained by hanging-drop, vapor-diffusion method at room temperature and high-resolution X-ray diffraction data were collected using a home X-ray source. Among previously solved crystal structures of this family are garlic, Solomon’s seal, snowdrop, daffodil and Spanish blue-bell lectins, but the protein sequence of the Colocasia esculenta tuber agglutinin was found to be closest to that of the Remusatia vivipara lectin having no simple mannose-binding property. Using the previously solved 2.4Å crystal structure of the Remusatia vivipara lectin, that of Colocasia esculenta has been solved by molecular replacement and subsequent crystallographic refinement and root mean square deviations between various lectins are tabulated and rationalized. The asymmetric unit in our lectin crystal structure contains four β-prism II domains or two αβ heterodimers, each forming a α2β2 heterotetramer with a symmetry related unit. The tetrameric interface obtained from our crystal structure is used to explain the conversion to dimers in acidic pH. Five ordered magnesium ions were located in the asymmetric unit and the presence of magnesium verified by atomic absorption spectroscopy.