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Properties of recombinant isolectin B4 (IB4): Binding and immunostaining

Kohls MD, Lappi DA, Ancheta LR (2014) Properties of recombinant isolectin B4 (IB4): Binding and immunostaining. Neuroscience 2014 Abstracts 627.07. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC.

Summary: Isolectin B4 (IB4) is a protein found in the seeds of Griffonia simplicifolia, a woody climbing shrub native to western and central Africa. Although initially used as an identifier and agglutination agent for B-type red blood cells, it has since become widely used in the neurosciences as a neuronal tracer, for labeling specific populations in the spinal cord, and as a targeting moiety for delivering toxins to specific cells. Recent developments in response to competition from the nutritional supplement industry have reduced the available supply of seeds from which the native protein is purified. In order to create a consistent supply of pure and active IB4 we have determined the full nucleotide sequence of the IB4 gene, cloned it from Griffonia genomic DNA, and expressed recombinant IB4 in E. coli. The recombinant IB4 (rIB4) was purified and tested in several activity assays against the native protein. A fusion protein of rIB4 and GFP was created to demonstrate the use of this protein in immunostaining. Griffonia also contains isolectin A that agglutinates A-type red blood cells – the A and B lectins form tetramers with varying subunit combinations. These tetramers are potential sources of contamination in preparations of the native protein. rIB4 is completely free of any A lectin contamination. The rIB4 is highly pure, and has identical activity to the native protein.

Related Products: IB4-SAP (Cat. #IT-10)