Wheat germ agglutinin
|Agglutinin isolectin 1|
Wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) is a lectin that protects wheat (Triticum) from insects, yeast and bacteria. An agglutinin protein, it binds to N-acetyl-D-glucosamine and Sialic acid. Succinylated WGA is selective for β-GlcNAc, making it a useful tool for detecting O-GlcNAc. N-acetyl-D-glucosamine in the natural environment of wheat is found in the chitin of insects, and the cell membrane of yeast & bacteria. WGA is found abundantly—but not exclusively—in the wheat kernel, where it got the 'germ' name from. In mammals the N-acetyl-D-glucosamine that WGA binds to is found in cartilage and cornea among other places. In those animals sialic acid is found in mucous membranes, e.g. the lining of the inner nose, and digestive tract.
In solution, WGA exists mostly as a heterodimer of 38,000 daltons. It is cationic at physiological pH. It contains a Carbohydrate-binding module called CBM18.
Use in molecular biology
- Proteopedia: 2uvo – High resolution crystal structure of Wheat Germ Agglutinin in complex with N-acetyl-D-glucosamine
- Proteopedia: 2uwg – Crystal structure of Wheat Germ Agglutinin isolectin 1 in complex with glycosylurethan
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- Ohno J, Tajima Y, Utsumi N (October 1986). "Binding of wheat germ agglutinin in the matrix of rat tracheal cartilage". The Histochemical Journal. 18 (10): 537–40. doi:10.1007/BF01675194. PMID 3804790. S2CID 25384990.
- Marfurt CF (February 1988). "Sympathetic innervation of the rat cornea as demonstrated by the retrograde and anterograde transport of horseradish peroxidase-wheat germ agglutinin". The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 268 (2): 147–60. doi:10.1002/cne.902680202. PMID 3360982. S2CID 23955233.
- "Plasma Membrane - US". www.thermofisher.com. Retrieved 2020-01-13.
- Emde B, Heinen A, Gödecke A, Bottermann K (December 2014). "Wheat germ agglutinin staining as a suitable method for detection and quantification of fibrosis in cardiac tissue after myocardial infarction". European Journal of Histochemistry. 58 (4): 2448. doi:10.4081/ejh.2014.2448. PMC 4289847. PMID 25578975.