Affinity purified Phaseolus vulgaris lectin (PHA-E) is tetrameric glycoprotein and responsible for the erythroagglutinating properties of the PHA fraction. It has a carbohydrate specificity towards oligosaccharides and elutes with bovine thyroglobulin or acetic acid. PHA-E will bind to both human erythrocytes and lymphocytes, with a specificity towards blood group A (-SA). There are five times more PHA-E receptors on normal human lymphocytes than there are on erythrocytes. The crystal structure of a ligand-free PHA-E has a typical legume lectin fold characterized by two anti-parallel β-sheets and two short α-helices, and contains one GlcNAc residue of the N-linked glycan. Asparagine linked erythrocytes glycopeptide is an inhibitor of PHA-E induced agglutination and mitogenicity, and becomes inactive if treated with β-galactosidase. PHA-E binds di-galactosylated and bisected N-glycan. This lectin is widely used as a biochemical tool for detecting bisecting GlcNAc- and Gal-bearing glycoproteins.
Cy3 can be used to visualize the binding pattern of Phaseolus vulgaris Lectin (PHA-E) in cellular imaging and flow cytometry. Cy3 is more photostable than many other fluorophores and can be seen with TRITC filter sets. It is commonly combined with green-fluorescent dyes for dual-labeling.