Legume lectins: Proteins with diverse applications

Irlanda Lagarda-Diaz, Ana Maria Guzman-Partida, Luz Vazquez-Moreno

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

118 Scopus citations


Lectins are a diverse class of proteins distributed extensively in nature. Among these proteins; legume lectins display a variety of interesting features including antimicrobial; insecticidal and antitumor activities. Because lectins recognize and bind to specific glycoconjugates present on the surface of cells and intracellular structures; they can serve as potential target molecules for developing practical applications in the fields of food; agriculture; health and pharmaceutical research. This review presents the current knowledge of the main structural characteristics of legume lectins and the relationship of structure to the exhibited specificities; provides an overview of their particular antimicrobial; insecticidal and antitumor biological activities and describes possible applications based on the pattern of recognized glyco-targets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1242
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - 12 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Antimicrobial
  • Cancer
  • Insecticidal
  • Lectin
  • Legume


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