Lectin Receptors in Central Nervous System Myelin

Joseph F. Poduslo, Jane L. Harman, Dale E. McFarlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Abstract: Proteins from central nervous system myelin were separated by high‐resolution, sodium dodecyl sulfate‐pore gradient slab gel electrophoresis and the glycoproteins were detected by autoradiography after direct application of radioiodinated lectins. A surprising heterogeneity of lectin binding proteins was found associated with this highly purified membrane fraction. Iodinated wheat germ agglutinin, which has a monosaccharide specificity for N‐acetyl‐D‐glucosamine and N‐acetylneuraminic acid, revealed six major bands and two minor bands. By correlating the molecular weights (Mr) of radioiodinated protein standards with the gel concentration at the position reached by the protein (%T) using the relationship log(Mr) versus log(%T) for gradient gel systems, molecular weight estimates of 128, 300, 109, 800, 75, 300, 48, 800, 26, 100 and 23, 700 were obtained for the major glycoprotein bands and molecular weights of 98, 300 and 86, 600 for the minor bands. When the isolated myelin was extracted with chloroform‐methanol‐a procedure that removes the major myelin proteins, including the proteolipid protein and most of the basic proteins and hence concentrates the minor high molecular weight proteins‐and analyzed after gradient gel electrophoresis, additional glycoproteins of molecular weights 607, 700, 196, 900, 175, 100, 61, 800, 52, 200 and 42, 600 were resolved with this lectin. Radioiodinated soybean agglutinin, which has a specificity for N‐acetyl‐D‐galactosamine and D‐galactose, revealed seven bands, three of which were unique to this lectin (19, 600, 19, 100 and 17,000). Iodinated concanavalin A (d‐mannose, d‐glucose) revealed bands similar to the wheat germ agglutinin as well as additional bands of 40, 300, 37, 300, 35, 700, 21, 800 and 20, 400. The glycoprotein specificity for these lectin binding components was demonstrated by hapten carbohydrate binding inhibition and by organic solvent extraction for removal of glycolipids. Based on these experiments using three lectins with different carbohydrate specificity, 22 lectin‐reactive components were identified; however, six of these bands were removed by chloroform‐methanol extraction. The variations observed in the lectin binding capacity for these different bands suggest possible carbohydrate heterogeneity for these individual glycoproteins. Although many of these bands may be dissociated subunits (monomeric polypeptides) of oligomeric complexes, the observed multiplicity of these quantitatively minor glycoproteins associated with the purified myelin membrane implies a more intricate molecular organization for the myelin sheath complex than previously believed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1733-1744
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of neurochemistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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