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Cloning and Expression of Mistletoe Lectin III B-Subunit

I. B. Pevzner1, I. I. Agapov1, U. Pfueller2, K. Pfueller2, N. V. Maluchenko1, M. M. Moisenovich1, A. G. Tonevitsky1*, and M. P. Kirpichnikov1

1Faculty of Biology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 119899 Moscow, Russia; fax: (7-095) 196-0522; E-mail: tonevits@genetika.ru

2Institute of Phytochemistry, University of Witten/Herdecke, Stockumer Str. 10, D-58448, Witten, Germany; E-mail: uwep@uni-wh.de

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received March 3, 2004; Revision received April 5, 2004
Aqueous extracts of mistletoe (Viscum album L.) contain toxic proteins (lectins) MLI (viscumin), MLII, and MLIII. We previously cloned the gene encoding MLIII precursor. In the present study, a gene fragment encoding the carbohydrate-binding subunit of mistletoe toxic lectin MLIII was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli cells. The structure and immunochemical properties of recombinant MLIII B-subunit were investigated using a panel of monoclonal antibodies against ML-toxins. Sugar-binding activity of recombinant MLIII B-subunit was determined by ELISA. Amino acid sequence analysis of the cloned MLIII compared with known mistletoe toxins and other ribosome-inactivating type II proteins (ricin, abrin a, and nigrin b B-subunits) revealed essential features of the recombinant MLIIIB primary structure that could determine sugar specificity of the lectin as well as immunomodulating and anti-tumor properties of mistletoe extracts.
KEY WORDS: mistletoe toxic lectin, recombinant MLIII B-subunit, monoclonal antibody