The addition of sugars to biomolecules contributes to the diversity and specificity of binding interactions for proteins and lipids. Lectins, or proteins that bind glycans, recognize sugar moieties with a high degree of specificity. Glycans, or polysaccharides,  play crucial roles in a number of medically relevant biological processes from viral pathogenesis to tumor cell metastasis and stem cell differentiation.  For example, polysaccharides expressed on the surface of bacteria have been shown to contribute to their ability to enter host cells,  evade immune detection and target their interaction with host environments. Closely related strains of bacteria can also be differentiated based on their surface expression of different polysaccharides, detected by lectin capture arrays. Lectin/Glycan microarray technology provides a systems approach to understanding the role of lectins in biological interactions and can be used to identify biomarkers in the field of immunology, vaccine development,  cancer, and developmental biology. These biomarkers will contribute significantly to the specificity of diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.

Lectin microarrays have been created by printing extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins, for example, onto nitrocellulose film. Kuschel et al., (2006) demonstrated the use of ECM protein microarrays to differentiate the adherence properties of different cell types.  Tao et al. (2008) printed 94 different lectins on nitrocellulose film to identify unique binding profiles of human cells, and compared the glycan profile of breast cancer cells and cancer stem-like cells in a mouse model.  Other studies have examined the profile of lipopolysaccharides in bacteria (Hsu et al., 2006) using lectin microarrays.

Advantages of Nitrocellulose Films from Grace Bio-Labs:

ONCYTE® PNC (Porous NitroCellulose) Microarray Slides bind up to 500x more protein in a given spot than planar microarray substrates, resulting in a much higher capacity to capture analyte from sample solution.  Further, the non-covalent nature of protein binding to ONCYTE Nitrocellulose film slides and the 3-dimensional support matrix results in a protein friendly environment, allowing maintenance of native protein structure and retention of structure dependent binding activity. ONCYTE Nitrocellulose film slides and Grace Bio-Labs reagents are designed to provide a complete system for sensitive and consistent results for your protein arrays. Our film slides are manufactured with a stringent quality control protocol that ensures minimal variability and consistently low fluorescence background compared to other commercially available film slides.

Kuschel et al., Cell adhesion profiling using extracellular matrix protein microarrays. Biotechniques, 2006, 40:523-531.

Hsu et al., Analyzing the dynamic baccterial glycome with a lectin microrray approach. Nat. Chem. Biology 2006, 2:153-57.

Tao et al., Lectin microarrays identify cell-specific and functionally significant cell surface glycan markers. Glycobiology, 2009, 18:761-69.