ISSN 1063-0740, Russian Journal of Marine Biology, 2007, Vol. 33, No. 5, pp. 329–332. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2007.
Original Russian Text © O.V. Chernikov, I.V. Chikalovets, V.I. Molchanova, M.A. Pavlova, P.A. Lukyanov, 2007, published in Biologiya Morya.
Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins, which
are widely spread in nature, beginning with viruses and
ending with mammalians. Lectins participate in many
important biological processes: fertilization, penetra-
tion of infections into host cells, migration of leuco-
cytes to inﬂammation focuses, exo- and endogenous
regulations of different processes of cellular metabo-
lism . Owing to their ability to recognize carbohy-
drate structures on cell surfaces and to affect cell pro-
cesses, lectins are of wide use in biology and medicine.
Presently, lectins are used as antiviral agents, for deter-
mination of blood groups, puriﬁcation of biological ﬂu-
ids and differentiation of cell types (in particular,
immature forms of lymphocytes during the transplanta-
tion of bone marrow) .
Algae are a source of many biologically active
chemical compounds: polyphenols, terpenes, sterols,
lectins, inhibitors of proteinases, fatty acids, enzymes,
and polysaccharides (alginates, agar, sulfated galac-
tans–carrageenans) [1, 3, 8, 16, 18], which have pres-
ently found various applications. Since the ﬁrst discov-
ery of lectins in marine algae , several dozens of sim-
ilar investigations have been reported [6, 7, 11, 12, 14,
15]. However, only a small number of algal lectins have
been puriﬁed and characterized in comparison to the
number of lectins known for higher plants [4, 9, 10, 21].
This work is aimed at investigation of marine algae
from the Peter the Great Bay of the Sea of Japan,
belonging to different systematic groups, in order to
reveal the presence of lectins and to determine species
that can be a potential source of these carbohydrate-
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Twenty-eight algal species of 3 orders (Table 1) that
are of common occurrence in the Far-Eastern seas of
Russia were taken as objects for the study. Algal sam-
ples were collected in July 2005 and 2006 at depths of
1.5–2.5 m from Troitsa Bay of Peter the Great Bay of
the Sea of Japan, in the vicinity of the Marine Experi-
mental Station of the Paciﬁc Institute of Bioorganic
Chemistry (PIBOC) FEB RAS.
The algae were thoroughly washed with running
water and frozen. Raw extracts were obtained by
homogenization of frozen algae in 0.15 M NaCl at a
ratio of 1 : 4. The mixture was stirred continuously for
12 hours at room temperature. Insoluble algal material
was removed by ﬁltration through a nylon tissue with
the following centrifugation for 15 min at 4000 rpm.
The presence of lectin in the extract was detected by
reaction of direct hemagglutination (RDHA) in 0.01 M
PBS (0.01 M NaH
+ 0.15 M NaCl, pH 7.5) in
U-form 96-depression plates for immunological reac-
tions (Nunc, Denmark). Twofold serial dilutions of the
extract were prepared, 0.025 ml in each well, and 0.025 ml
of a 2% suspension of native human erythrocytes
(group 0) were added in each the well. The results of the
reaction were evaluated visually after 45 min, and the
hemagglutination titer was determined as the greatest
dilution of the extract still giving visible agglutination
The presence of polyphenols in the algal extract was
revealed by precipitation appearing upon addition of
polyvinylpirrolidon (PVP), at 10 mg/1 ml solution. The
mixture was stirred for 10 min, and the precipitate was
removed by centrifugation for 3 min at 12000 rpm, and
Algae of Peter the Great Bay of the Sea of Japan
as a Source of Lectins
O. V. Chernikov
, I. V. Chikalovets
, V. I. Molchanova
, M. A. Pavlova
, and P. A. Lukyanov
Paciﬁc Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladivostok, 690022 Russia
Far Eastern State University, Vladivostok, 690000 Russia
Received May 17, 2007
—Algae of Peter the Great Bay (Sea of Japan) were for the ﬁrst time bioassayed as a source of lectins.
From 28 algal species of three orders, only some extracts from brown (Phaeophyta) and red (Rhodophyta) sea-
weeds were found to cause agglutination of human erythrocytes. The hemagglutinating activity of extracts from
three species of brown algae and the red alga
was caused by lectins; for a majority of
extracts from the investigated algae, this activity was due to the presence of substances of non-lectin nature.
lectins, algae, agglutination.