Hen eggs represent an easily available and inexpensive source of glycoproteins expressing a variety of sugars. Egg glycoproteins might therefore be exploited to purify by affinity chromatography carbohydrate-binding proteins (lectins) with different specificities. A method to generate an affinity matrix from hen eggs is described. The matrix was assayed for its ability to purify in a single step biologically active phytohemagglutinin, wheat germ agglutinin, lentil lectin, and peanut agglutinin. Milligrams of purified lectins per gram of matrix was obtained, with the only exception of peanut agglutinin that was not efficiently retained into the affinity column. Hen egg chromatography is a relatively simple, fast, and reproducible method to purify high amount of plant lectins.
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