Functional and structural characterization of multiple galectins from the skin mucus of conger eel, Conger myriaster

Koji Muramoto, Daiji Kagawa, Takashi Sato, Tomohisa Ogawa, Yoshihiro Nishida, Hisao Kamiya

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The complete amino acid sequence of an isogalectin, named congerin II, isolated from the skin mucus of conger eel, was determined by sequencing of the protein and its peptides generated by enzymatic and chemical cleavages. Congerin II consisted of 135 amino acids residues containing an acetylated N-terminus. Congerin II was found to be only 46% homologous in sequence to congerin I which was previously determined (Muramoto K., Kamiya H., Biochem. Biophys. Acta, 1992;1116:129-136), suggesting that the galectins with diverse molecular properties are present in the skin mucus of conger eel. However, it was confirmed by analysis of the secondary structures using circular dichroism that both congerins I and II shared similar folds characterized by β structures. Congerins I and II showed different molecular properties such as thermostability, pH dependency for hemagglutinating activity and for binding specificity against the pyridylamino derivative of lactose. Congerin I showed more strict recognition specificity for lactose than did congerin II. Furthermore, the effects of chemical modification on congerins I and II were investigated in order to identify the type of amino acids involved in their different lectin activities. Modification of tyrosine and lysine residues did not affect the carbohydrate-binding activities of congerins. However, modification of tryptophan, arginine, histidine, glutamic acid and aspartic acid residues led to considerable loss of their activities, and a different mode of binding activity was observed between modified congerins I and II. These results suggest that multiple galectins from conger eel with the same scaffold have different biological functions and properties. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-45
Number of pages13
JournalComparative Biochemistry and Physiology - B Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Amino acid sequence
  • Conger eel
  • Galectin
  • Hemagglutination
  • Skin mucus


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