Affinity purified concanavalin A (Con A) is composed of two identical subunits of 237 amino acid residues (MW: 26,000 without any cystine residues). While above pH 7 it is predominantly tetrameric, at pH 4.5 – 5.6, Con A binds two metal ions per monomer: transition metals, Mn2+ and Ca2+. Both ions are required for binding with optimum activity at a pH 7.0. Con A binds with non-reducing α-D-glucose, α-D-mannose and α-methyl-D-glucopyranoside acts as a competitive inhibitor. Con A does not have a blood group specificity. It exhibits mitogenic activity with lymphocytes and cancer cells. While lymphocytes and cancer aggregate by Con A; normal white cells do not. Normal cells react to Con A after proteolytic treatment which suggests that trypsinization causes clustering of the reactive glycan residues on the membrane. Con A interacts with cell types include locust muscle fibers, adipocytes, and rat liver plasma membrane components. This lectin induces endoreduplication in mammalian cells and it reacts with E. coli, Dictyostelium discoideum and Bacillus lipopolysaccharides. Immobilized Con A has been used in affinity chromatography purifications of a wide variety of glycoproteins and cellular structures.
Biotin is a small molecule involved in a wide range of metabolic processes. This ligand forms a complex with Avidin and Streptavidin, resulting in the strongest non-covalent protein-ligand interaction known. Biotinylated Concanavalin A (Jackbean) Lectin (Con A) has an appropriate amount of biotin bound to provide optimum detection characteristics when using an Avidin-HRP or Streptavidin-HRP conjugate. Biotinylated lectins allow for more sensitive detection in ELISA and Western-blotting applications.