Comparative Study of Structures and Functional Motifs in Lectins from the Commercially Important Photosynthetic Microorganisms

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Lectin, Microalgae, Intrinsically Disordered Protein, Intrinsically Disordered Region, Carbohydrate Recognition Domain

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Photosynthetic microorganisms, specifically cyanobacteria and microalgae, can synthesize a vast array of biologically active molecules, such as lectins, that have great potential for various biotechnological and biomedical applications. However, since the structures of these proteins are not well established, likely due to the presence of intrinsically disordered regions, our ability to better understand their functionality is hampered. We embarked on a study of the carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD), intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs), amino acidic composition, as well as and functional motifs in lectins from cyanobacteria of the genus Arthrospira and microalgae Chlorella and Dunaliella genus using a combination of bioinformatics techniques. This search revealed the presence of five distinctive CRD types differently distributed between the genera. Most CRDs displayed a group-specific distribution, except to C. sorokiniana possessing distinctive CRD probably due to its specific lifestyle. We also found that all CRDs contain short IDRs. Bacterial lectin of Arthrospira prokarionte showed lower intrinsic disorder and proline content when compared to the lectins from the eukaryotic microalgae (Chlorella and Dunaliella). Among the important functions predicted in all lectins were several specific motifs, which directly interacts with proteins involved in the cell-cycle control and which may be used for pharmaceutical purposes. Since the aforementioned properties of each type of lectin were investigated in silico, they need experimental confirmation. The results of our study provide an overview of the distribution of CRD, IDRs, and functional motifs within lectin from the commercially important microalgae.

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Biochimie, v. 201, p. 63-74