Galectins are soluble carbohydrate binding proteins that can bind β-galactose-containing glycoconjugates by means of a conserved carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD). In mammalian systems, galectins have been shown to mediate very important roles in innate and adaptive immunity as well as facilitating host-pathogen relationships. Many of these studies have relied on purified recombinant galectins to uncover key features of galectin biology. A major limitation to this approach is that certain recombinant galectins purified using standard protocols are easily susceptible to loss of glycan-binding activity. As a result, biochemical studies that employ recombinant galectins can be misleading if the overall activity of a galectin remains unknown in a given assay condition. This article examines fundamental considerations when purifying galectins by lactosyl-sepharose and nickel-NTA affinity chromatography using human galectin-4N and -7 as examples, respectively. As other approaches are also commonly applied to galectin purification, we also discuss alternative strategies to galectin purification, using human galectin-1 and -9 as examples.
- galectin stability
- galectin-1 alkylation using iodoacetamide
- galectin-9 purification using Tris buffer
- lactosyl-sepharose chromatography
- stable and active galectin-9