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An N-acetyllactosamine-specific lectin, PFA, isolated from a moth (Phalera flavescens), structurally resembles an invertebrate-type lysozyme

Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
DOI: 10.1016/j.ibmb.2014.09.005
  • Lectin
  • Lobster Moth
  • Lysozyme
  • Gene
  • Evolution
  • Biology


Abstract PFA (Phalera flavescens agglutinin) lectin purified from larvae of the lobster moth (P. flavescens) shows a strong binding ability specific to the N-acetyllactosamine (Galβ1-4GlcNAc) site. We determined the genomic and cDNA sequences of the PFA gene, which consists of five exons and spans approximately 5 kb of a genomic region. Surprisingly, the amino acid sequence (149 amino acids) was similar to invertebrate-type lysozymes and related proteins. The predicted tertiary structure of the PFA protein was similar to the lysozymes of clams such as the common orient clam (Meretrix lusoria) and Japanese littleneck (Venerupis philippinarum (Tapes japonica)). The PFA, however, lacks a catalytically essential amino acid, an Asp (D), which is one of the two important amino acids (Glu (E) and D) express the function of lysozyme. As a result, lysozyme activity assays indicated that PFA does not have lysozyme activity. Results suggest that the PFA gene evolved from a lysozyme gene through the loss of lysozyme activity sites and the acquisition of lectin activity during evolution of the genus Phalera.

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