Purified by affinity chromatography, Galanthus nivalis lectin (GNL/GNA) is composed of four identical subunits. GNL is a mannose-binding lectin, though [interestingly] it will not bind α-linked glucose. This lectin was one of the original molecules used to understand how proteins recognize carbohydrates. Galanthus nivalis is found to bind to many viral glycoproteins, making it a useful tool in HIV research studies.
Cy3 can be used to viualize the binding pattern of Galanthus nivalis Lectin (GNL/GNA) 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.