Examination of the hemagglutinating activity of extracts from seeds of Erythrina corallodendron at various maturation stages revealed that the level of lectin increases markedly past mid-maturation. Seeds at this stage of maturation served as a source of mRNA for the construction of an expression cDNA library in the vector λ Zap, which generates fusion proteins with an N-terminal portion of β-galactosidase. The library was screened with rabbit polyclonal anti-ECorL antiserum. Four immunopositive clones were isolated. Western blot analysis of cell extracts from one of the clones (pIEcL-B) showed a 36 kDa protein that reacted with the antiserum, as well as with a mouse monoclonal antibody raised against the lectin. DNA sequence analysis by the chain termination method revealed that clone pIEcl-C has an insert of 1017 bp with the entire coding sequence of ECorL, beginning with an initiation codon ATG at position 26 and ending with stop codon TAA at position 868. This fragment encodes a polypeptide of 281 amino acids consisting of a signal leader sequence of 25 amino acids and a mature protein of 256 amino acids. The deduced amino acid sequence from this fragment is identical to the sequence of the first 244 amino acids of ECorL, as determined at the protein level, except at 7 positions.
- Legume lectin