Previously, we isolated jacalin-related lectins termed PPL2, PPL3 (PPL3A, 3B and 3C) and PPL4 from the mantle secretory fluid of Pteria penguin (Mabe) pearl shell. They showed the sequence homology with the plant lectin family, jacalin-related β-prism fold lectins (JRLs). While PPL3s and PPL4 shared only 35%–50% homology to PPL2A, respectively, they exhibited unique carbohydrate binding properties based on the multiple glycan-binding profiling data sets from frontal affinity chromatography analysis. In this paper, we investigated biomineralization properties of these lectins and compared their biomineral functions. It was found that these lectins showed different effects on CaCO3 crystalization, respectively, although PPL3 and PPL2A showed similar carbohydrate binding specificities. PPL3 suppressed the crystal growth of CaCO3 calcite, while PPL2A increased the number of contact polycrystalline calcite composed of more than one crystal with various orientations. Furthermore, PPL4 alone showed no effect on CaCO3 crystalization; however, PPL4 regulated the size of crystals collaborated with N-acetyl-D-glucosamine and chitin oligomer, which are specific in recognizing carbohydrates for PPL4. These observations highlight the unique functions and molecular evolution of this lectin family involved in the mollusk shell formation.
- Pearl shell