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Any of various proteins or glycoproteins that bind to the sugar molecules of glycoproteins and glucolipids on the surfaces of cells and are found in most organisms, especially plants. They are used to stimulate lymphocyte proliferation and to agglutinate red blood cells.

[Latin lēctus, past participle of legere, to select; see select + -in.]


(Biochemistry) a type of protein possessing high affinity for a specific sugar; lectins are often highly toxic
[C20: from Latin lectus, past participle of legere to select + -in]


(ˈlɛk tɪn)

any of a group of proteins that bind to specific carbohydrates and act as an agglutinin.
[1954; < Latin lēct(us), past participle of legere to gather, select, read + -in1]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.lectin - any of several plant glycoproteins that act like specific antibodies but are not antibodies in that they are not evoked by an antigenic stimulus
glycoprotein - a conjugated protein having a carbohydrate component
References in periodicals archive ?
Meanwhile plants could identify the microorganisms by the secreting substances, such as plant lectins and flavonoids, microbial synthesis of extracellular polysaccharides, LPS, capsular polysaccharide and root-cadherin (rhicadhesin), etc (9,10).
Plant-insect interactions: what can we learn from plant lectins Arch.
However, animal lectins are quite different from classical plant lectins in their sugar-binding ability; the [K.
Effect of plant lectins on the larval development of European corn borer (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae) and Southern corn rootworm (Coleoptera, Chrysomelidae).
Differences in macrophage stimulation and leukocyte accumulation in response to intraperitoneal administration of glucose/manose-binding plant lectins.
The compound that binds to a C-type lectin is preferably chosen from mannose, fucose, plant lectins, antibiotics, sugars, proteins or antibodies against C-type lectins.
In some cases plant lectins have been shown to be able to act as opsonins in invertebrate phagocyte systems, and concanavalin A receptors have been described on oyster hemocytes (Sami et al.
Perez-Santiago A, Saavedra E, Perez-Campos E, Cordoba F (2000) Effect of plant lectins on Ustilago maydis in vitro.
This work highlights the need for a much greater understanding of the interactions between plant lectins and human glycoproteins (sugar proteins) before they can be safely incorporated into the food chain.