Concanavalin A

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Mitogen - NFAT Activator
Concanavalin A

Concanavalin A (Con A), a mannose/glucose-binding lectin isolated from Jack beans (Canavalia ensiformis), is a well-known T cell mitogen that can activate the immune system, recruit lymphocytes and elicit cytokine production [1]. In addition to its mitogenic activity, ConA can induce programmed cell death via mitochondria-mediated apoptosis and autophagy [2-4]. Interestingly, ConA has been reported to activate NFAT (nuclear factor of activated T cells), a family of transcription factors that are important in the development and function of the immune system, including T cell receptor (TCR) engagement [5]. Specifically, binding of ConA triggers cross-linking of the TCR complex leading to T cell activation.

References:

  1. Dwyer JM. & Johnson C., 1981. The use of concanavalin A to study the immunoregulation of human T cells. Clin Exp Immunol. 46(2): 237–249.
  2. Lei HY. & Chang CP., 2009. Lectin of Concanavalin A as an anti-hepatoma therapeutic agent. J Biomed Sci. 16:10.
  3. Kulkarni GV. et al., 1998. Role of mitochondrial membrane potential in concanavalin A-induced apoptosis in human fibroblasts. Exp Cell Res. 245(1):170-8.
  4. Li W. et al., 2011. Concanavalin A: A potential anti-neoplastic agent targeting apoptosis, autophagy and anti-angiogenesis for cancer therapeutics. BBRC. 414(2):282-6.
  5. Bemer V. & Truffa-Bachi P., 1996. T cell activation by concanavalin A in the presence of cyclosporin A: immunosuppressor withdrawal induces

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