Mitogenic and anti-proliferative activity of a lectin from the tubers of Voodoo lily (Sauromatum venosum).
ABSTRACT A new lectin with the potent mitogenic and in vitro anti-proliferative activity was isolated from the tubers of a wild monocotyledonous plant Sauromatum venosum (Schott), from the family Araceae, by affinity chromatography on the asialofetuin linked amino-activated silica beads. The apparent native molecular mass of S. venosum lectin (SVL), as determined by gel filtration chromatography, was 54 kDa. In HPLC, size exclusion and cation exchange chromatography, SVL gave a single peak and also a single band of 13.5 kDa in SDS-PAGE, pH 8.3, under reducing and non-reducing conditions, indicating that the lectin is composed of four identical subunits. S. venosum lectin agglutinated rabbit, rat, sheep and guinea pig erythrocytes but reacted with goat erythrocytes after the neuraminidase treatment. However, SVL was unable to agglutinate human ABO blood group erythrocytes even after treatment with neuraminidase. SVL was inhibited by N-acetyl-D-Lactosamine (LacNAc), which is an important marker in various carcinomas and a complex desialylated glycoprotein, asialofetuin. The amino acid composition showed that lectin contained a high amount of aspartic acid and glycine but totally devoid of cysteine. However, trace amounts of methionine was present. The lectin showed a potent mitogenic response towards BALB/c splenocytes and human lymphocytes. As the mitogenic stimulation was more than that of Con A, a standard well-known plant mitogen and the response of this lectin was almost double than that of Con A. This lectin is endowed with proliferation of T cells as revealed by IL-2 bioassay but showed no production of immunoglobulins thus indicating the non-stimulation of B cells. SVL significantly inhibited the proliferation of murine cancer cell-lines, i.e., WEHI-279 to 84.6%, J774 to 81%, P388D1 to 74% and A-20 to 47%. In addition, the in vitro anti-proliferative activity of SVL was also evaluated against nine human cancer cell lines representing different organs and tissues namely, T-47D (breast), SiHa (cervix), SK-N-MC (CNS), SK-N-SH (CNS), SW-620 (colon), HT-29 (colon), HEP-2 (liver), OVCAR-5 (ovary) and PC-3 (prostate). SVL showed a significant inhibition towards the entire cell lines except the cell lines from CNS, which showed partial response in comparison to a standard anticancer drug adriamycin which was used at a concentration of 5 x 10(-5) M. Thus the anti-proliferative ability of SVL may be helpful in identification of new lectin probes that can lead to better understanding in the detection and study of certain types of cancer.