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A lectin with antifungal and mitogenic activities from red cluster pepper (Capsicum frutescens) seeds

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A monomeric mannose/glucose-binding lectin, with a molecular mass of 29.5 kDa and an N-terminal sequence GQRELKL showing resemblance to that of the lectin-like oxidized low-density lipoprotein receptor from the rabbit, has been isolated from the seeds of red cluster pepper Capsium frutescens L. var. fasciculatum. The protocol involved anion exchange chromatography on diethylamino ethanol-cellulose and Q-Sepharose and fast protein liquid chromatography on Mono Q. Its hemagglutinating activity toward rabbit erythrocytes was inhibited by d-mannose and glucose, specifically. The activity was stable from 0 to 40°C, reached a maximum at pH 7 and 8, and was potentiated by Ca2+ and Mn2+ ions. The lectin showed strong mitogenic activity toward spleen cells isolated from BALB/c mice. The mitogenic activity, which reached a peak at a lectin concentration of 0.27 μM, was inhibited specifically by d(+)-mannose. The lectin was capable of inhibiting the germination of Aspergillus flavus and Fusarium moniliforme spores and hyphal growth in the two fungi.

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The award of a direct grant by the Medicine Panel, Chinese University of Hong Kong Research Committee and the skilled secretarial assistance of Ms. Fion Yung, Ms. Grace Chan, and Ms. Christine Chung are gratefully acknowledged.

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Correspondence to T. B. Ng.

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Ngai, P.H.K., Ng, T.B. A lectin with antifungal and mitogenic activities from red cluster pepper (Capsicum frutescens) seeds. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 74, 366–371 (2007). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-006-0685-y

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  • Lectin
  • Antifungal
  • Red pepper
  • Seeds