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Schinus terebinthifolia leaf lectin (SteLL) is an immunomodulatory agent by altering cytokine release by mice splenocytes

  • dos Santos, Ardilles Juan Carlos Alves1
  • da Silva Barros, Bárbara Rafaela2
  • de Souza Aguiar, Lethícia Maria2
  • de Siqueira Patriota, Leydianne Leite2
  • de Albuquerque Lima, Thâmarah2
  • Zingali, Russolina Benedeta3
  • Paiva, Patrícia Maria Guedes2
  • Napoleão, Thiago Henrique2
  • de Melo, Cristiane Moutinho Lagos2
  • Pontual, Emmanuel Viana1
  • 1 Universidade Federal Rural de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil , Recife (Brazil)
  • 2 Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife, Brazil , Recife (Brazil)
  • 3 Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil , Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)
Published Article
3 Biotech
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Mar 02, 2020
DOI: 10.1007/s13205-020-2137-2
Springer Nature


Schinus terebinthifolia leaf lectin (SteLL) was reported to be an antimicrobial and antitumor agent. In this work, we evaluated the immunomodulatory activity of SteLL on mice splenocytes and also determined its native molecular mass and putative sequence similarities with plant proteins. The effects of SteLL (12.5 μg/mL) on viability, cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]cyt), cytosolic and mitochondrial levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS), and mitochondrial transmembrane potential (ΔΨm) of mice splenocytes were determined. In addition, the culture supernatants were collected for quantification of interleukins (IL), tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and nitric oxide (NO). SteLL showed a native molecular mass of 12.4 kDa and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) ions search revealed similarities with adenosine triphosphate (ATP) synthase and F1-ATPase from plants (4% and 6% coverage, respectively). SteLL was not toxic to splenocytes, did not alter the [Ca2+]cyt and ROS levels, and slightly reduced ΔΨm. The presence of SteLL stimulated the cells to release pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-17A, TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-2) and also of IL-4, an anti-inflammatory cytokine that can prevent exacerbated inflammation. SteLL induced decrease in the secretion of NO. In conclusion, SteLL has biotechnological potential as an immunomodulator agent for use in studies employing cultures of immune cells. In addition, the anti-infectious and antitumor properties of the leaves may involve the immunomodulation property of SteLL.

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