A previously unidentified glycoprotein present in the eggs of the carp ( Cyprinus carpio ) was isolated and structurally characterized. The protein binds to a Sepharose 4B matrix and can be eluted with 0.4 M N -acetylglucosamine. The protein has an apparent molecular mass of 26686.3 Da. On the basis of gel-filtration chromatography, the protein appears to be present in solution as a monomer. The sequence of its 238 amino acids, the position of its four disulphide bridges and the composition of its single N-linked carbohydrate chain were determined. The lectin shows a very low agglutinating activity for human A-type erythrocytes and interacts with both Gram-positive and -negative bacteria. These latter interactions are inhibited by N -acetylglucosamine. A database search shows that its amino acid sequence is similar to that of the members of an invertebrate lectin family that includes tachylectin-1. Tachylectin-1 is present in the amoebocytes of the horseshoe crab, Tachypleus tridentatus, and plays a role in the innate defence system of this species. Homologous genes are also present in other fish, having 85% identity with a gene expressed in the oocytes of the crucian carp ( Carassius auratus gibelio ) and 78% identity with a gene in the cDNA library of the zebrafish ( Danio rerio ).
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