Wheat-germ-agglutinin and Ricinus communis-agglutinin-binding sites of BHK cells compared with each other and with 140 kDa fibronectin receptors.

T. L. Tuan, F. Grinnell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We compared the wheat-germ agglutinin (WGA) and Ricinus communis agglutinin (RCA) binding sites of baby-hamster kidney (BHK) cells. There were 1.01 X 10(8) WGA-binding sites per cell (Kd = 0.027 nM) and 6 X 10(6) RCA-binding sites per cell (Kd = 0.014 nM). Binding of WGA or RCA to BHK cells resulted in more than 75% of the cell-surface binding sites becoming associated with the cytoskeleton (i.e. resistant to extraction with detergent), although no more than 10% of these sites were associated with the cytoskeleton before addition of the lectins. After binding of WGA to the cells, the cell surface was cross-linked so extensively that it remained intact even after detergent extraction of the treated cells, and could be observed by electron microscopy. A similar cross-linking effect did not occur after binding of RCA to cells, which may be because there were so many more binding sites for WGA than for RCA. The composition of WGA- and RCA-binding molecules was analysed by lectin affinity chromatography of metabolically radiolabelled BHK cells. We found that in the WGA-binding-molecule preparations there were eight major polypeptides, ranging in molecular mass from 93 to 340 kDa, and that the RCA-binding molecules were a subpopulation of the WGA-binding molecules. A polyclonal antibody against the 140 kDa fibronectin (FN) receptors of Chinese-hamster ovary (CHO) cells immunoblotted a 145 kDa polypeptide component in both WGA- and RCA-binding-molecule preparations. The results indicated that the 145 kDa component was present in at least two FN-receptor complexes that differed in glycosylation, only one of which was able to bind to RCA affinity columns. The oligomeric nature of the FN-receptor complex, which contained three polypeptides with molecular masses of 120-145 kDa, was demonstrated by using anti-(CHO-cell FN receptor) antibodies to immunoprecipitate extracts prepared from radioiodinated BHK cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-277
Number of pages9
JournalThe Biochemical journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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