Analysis of Unconventional Approaches for the Rapid Detection of Surface Lectin Binding Ligands on Human Cell Lines

For over a decade our laboratory has developed and used a novel histochemical assay using derivatized agarose beads to examine the surface properties of various cell types. Most recently, we have used this assay to examine lectin binding ligands on two human cell types, CCL-220, a colon cancer cell line, and CRL-1459, a non-cancer colon cell line. We found that CCL-220 cells bound specific lectins better than CRL-1459, and this information was used to test for possible differential toxicity of these lectins in culture, as a possible approach in the design of more specific anti-cancer drugs. Although we have examined the validity of the bead-binding assay in sea urchin cell systems, we have not previously validated this technique for mammalian cells. Here the binding results of the bead assay are compared with conventional fluorescence assays, using lectins from three species (Triticum vulgaris, Phaseolus vulgaris, and Lens culinaris) on the two colon cell lines. These lectins were chosen because they seemed to interact with the two cell lines differently.