Hetero-Multivalency of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Lectin LecA Binding to Model Membranes. Academic Article uri icon


  • A single glycan-lectin interaction is often weak and semi-specific. Multiple binding domains in a single lectin can bind with multiple glycan molecules simultaneously, making it difficult for the classic "lock-and-key" model to explain these interactions. We demonstrated that hetero-multivalency, a homo-oligomeric protein simultaneously binding to at least two types of ligands, influences LecA (a Pseudomonas aeruginosa adhesin)-glycolipid recognition. We also observed enhanced binding between P. aeruginosa and mixed glycolipid liposomes. Interestingly, strong ligands could activate weaker binding ligands leading to higher LecA binding capacity. This hetero-multivalency is probably mediated via a simple mechanism, Reduction of Dimensionality (RD). To understand the influence of RD, we also modeled LecA's two-step binding process with membranes using a kinetic Monte Carlo simulation. The simulation identified the frequency of low-affinity ligand encounters with bound LecA and the bound LecA's retention of the low-affinity ligand as essential parameters for triggering hetero-multivalent binding, agreeing with experimental observations. The hetero-multivalency can alter lectin binding properties, including avidities, capacities, and kinetics, and therefore, it likely occurs in various multivalent binding systems. Using hetero-multivalency concept, we also offered a new strategy to design high-affinity drug carriers for targeted drug delivery.

published proceedings

  • Sci Rep

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Worstell, N. C., Singla, A., Saenkham, P., Galbadage, T., Sule, P., Lee, D., ... Wu, H.

citation count

  • 17

complete list of authors

  • Worstell, Nolan C||Singla, Akshi||Saenkham, Panatda||Galbadage, Thushara||Sule, Preeti||Lee, Dongheon||Mohr, Alec||Kwon, Joseph Sang-Il||Cirillo, Jeffrey D||Wu, Hung-Jen

publication date

  • May 2018