Novel lectins from Caesalpinioideae subfamily (Leguminosae): characterization and antiproliferative activity against cancer cells

01 October 2021 → 30 September 2024
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Proteins
    • Molecular and cell biology not elsewhere classified
    • Plant biochemistry
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Structural biology
Lectins Caesalpinioideae subfamily Anticancer
Project description

Lectins are proteins with the capacity of specific and reversible binding to carbohydrates. Although they are present in virtually all organisms, plant lectins, especially those from Leguminosae family have been studied most extensively. Furthermore, the Papilionoideae subfamily received a lot more attention than the two remaining subfamilies, Caesalpinioideae and Mimosoideae, within the Leguminosae family. From the available data it is evident that Caesalpinioideae lectins show a high variability in physicochemical, biological, and structural properties. Even with relatively few studies, the literature reports some biological activities for Caesalpinioideae lectins, including antiproliferative/anticancer activity, which opens the possibility to use these lectins as new tools for the diagnosis and treatment of different types of cancer, a serious healthcare problem. In this context, the present project aims to expand the knowledge of the lectinology by purifying novel lectins from plants belonging to the Caesalpinioideae subfamily. The research work will focus on physicochemical, biological, and structural characterization of these proteins, recombinant production of these lectins in heterologous systems and investigating their antiproliferative activities against cervical cancer and glioma cell lines to generate the necessary data for application of these lectins as biotechnological tools in cancer research on long term.