"Lectins" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus,
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure,
which enables searching at various levels of specificity.
Proteins that share the common characteristic of binding to carbohydrates. Some ANTIBODIES and carbohydrate-metabolizing proteins (ENZYMES) also bind to carbohydrates, however they are not considered lectins. PLANT LECTINS are carbohydrate-binding proteins that have been primarily identified by their hemagglutinating activity (HEMAGGLUTININS). However, a variety of lectins occur in animal species where they serve diverse array of functions through specific carbohydrate recognition.
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