Erythrina cristagalli lectin or agglutinin (ECL/ECA) is affinity purified lectin consists of two subunits with molecular weights of 28,000 and 26,000. ECL binds to carbohydrate structure in membrane and serum glycoproteins of mammalian cells. The shape of the lectin binding domains may resemble cavity type with Galβ1->4GlcNAc as the core binding site with additional one to four sugar subsites and is most complementary to a linear trisaccharide. Some Galβ1-related oligosaccharides are the major structures for lectin binding. Lectin binding activity can be abolition through salic acid substitution. This allows for specificity to fractionate and isolate mammalian glycoproteins.
Cy3 can be used to viualize the binding pattern of Erythrina cristagalli (Coral tree) Lectin (ECL/ECA) in cellular imaging and flow cytometry. Cy3 is more photostable than many other flourophores and can be seen with TRITC filter sets. It is commonly combined with green-fluorescent dyes for dual-labeling.