GSL II is affinity purified tetramer that contains a single type of 30 kDa subunit. It has insecticidal structure/function, the first GlcNAc binding legume lectin proven to have insecticidal activity.
This lectin has a carbohydrate specificity for αGal and αGalNAc and elutes with galactose or N-acetylgalactosamine. Increasing the number of N-acetylglucosamine residues beyond two does not improve affinity. It has been reported to be unique in its ability to recognize exclusively α- or β-linked N-acetylglucosamine residues on the nonreducing terminal oligosaccharides. This lectin shows specificity for blood group A(-SA) greater than blood group B(-SA).
Griffonia simplicifolia Lectin (GSL II) is conjugated to ferritin, that has a molecular weight of 474,000 g/mol (all 24 subunits combined). Ferritin-conjugated lectins can be used to visualize localization of specific saccharide moieties and examine the distribution of plasma membrane glycoproteins. These conjugates can be viewed via electron microscopy.