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.
Texas Red is a red-fluorescent dye and when bound to Erythrina cristagalli (Coral tree) Lectin (ECL/ECA) can show the binding pattern of this lectin in cellular imaging applications. There is very little overlap between the emission spectra of Texas Red and FITC making this combination ideal for dual-labeling experiments. Rhodamine dyes, such as Texas Red, are more photostable and less sensitive to pH change when compared to other dyes such as fluorescein.