Nano Research

Article Title

Self-assembly of Human Galectin-1 via dual supramolecular interactions and its inhibition of T-cell agglutination and apoptosis


protein self-assembly, supramolecular interactions, galectin, cell agglutination


ABSTRACT Recently, we proposed a new strategy to construct artificial plant protein assemblies, which were induced by adding a small molecule, based on dual supramolecular interactions. In this paper, we further explored this method by employing Human Galectin-1 (Gal-1) as a building block to form self-assembled microribbons. Two non-covalent interactions, including lactose–lectin binding and dimerization of Rhodamine B (RhB), induced by the small molecule ligand addition, were involved in the crosslinking of the animal protein, resulting in the formation of assemblies. By using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), and three-dimensional (3D) tomographic analysis, we arrived at a possible mechanistic model for the microribbon formation. Furthermore, the morphology of protein assemblies could be fine-tuned by varying the incubation time, the protein/ligand ratio, and the chemical structures of ligands. Interestingly, the formation of protein microribbons successfully inhibited Gal-1 induced T-cell agglutination and apoptosis. This is because the multivalent and dynamic interactions in protein assemblies compete with the binding between Gal-1 and the glycans on cell surfaces, which suppresses the function of Gal-1 in promotion of tumor progression and metastasis.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press