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Journal of Amino Acids
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 838914, 20 pages
Review Article

Diversified Carbohydrate-Binding Lectins from Marine Resources

Department of Biomolecular Sciences, Graduate School of Life Sciences, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8577, Japan

Received 12 May 2011; Accepted 13 August 2011

Academic Editor: Faouzi Ben Rebah

Copyright © 2011 Tomohisa Ogawa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Marine bioresources produce a great variety of specific and potent bioactive molecules including natural organic compounds such as fatty acids, polysaccharides, polyether, peptides, proteins, and enzymes. Lectins are also one of the promising candidates for useful therapeutic agents because they can recognize the specific carbohydrate structures such as proteoglycans, glycoproteins, and glycolipids, resulting in the regulation of various cells via glycoconjugates and their physiological and pathological phenomenon through the host-pathogen interactions and cell-cell communications. Here, we review the multiple lectins from marine resources including fishes and sea invertebrate in terms of their structure-activity relationships and molecular evolution. Especially, we focus on the unique structural properties and molecular evolution of C-type lectins, galectin, F-type lectin, and rhamnose-binding lectin families.