Legume lectins are one of the largest lectin families with more than 70 members reported. They resemble each other in their physicochemical properties although they differ in their carbohydrate specificities. Legume lectins consist of two or four subunits with molecular masses of 30 kDa and each subunit has one carbohydrate-binding site. The interaction with sugars requires tightly bound calcium and manganese ions. The exact function of legume lectins is not known but they may be involved in the attachment of nitrogen-fixing bacteria and in the protection against pathogens .
Lectins from peanut and soybean were identified as minor allergens .
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