Russian Journal of Bioorganic Chemistry, Vol. 30, No. 6, 2004, đ . 566

A Family of Genes of Multidomain Free Lectins from a Planarian: Structure, Expression, and the Use as Markers for Monitoring Regeneration

E. A. Bogdanova, E. V. Barsova, N. I. Pun’kova, O. V. Britanova, D. A. Shagin, N. G. Gurskaya, N. Yu. Usman, and S. A. Lukyanov 1

Shemyakin–Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences,ul. Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10, Moscow , 117997 Russia

Abstract: A family of genes of the asexual race of planarian Girardia tigrina were described that encode proteins that belong to the superfamily of C-type lectins and were demonstrated to have a unique domain organization. The genes are differentially expressed in the planarian body. The protein products of at least two genes (scarf2 and gtlec1) are expressed in specifically differentiated gland cells of the planarian and secreted into the environment through long cell necks. A comparison of the results obtained by electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry with literature data allows the assignment of these cells to the group of adhesion glands. The observation of the regeneration of the cell necks in normal and artificial two-headed planaria indicated that the dorsoventral contact at the edge of the head part of the planarian body directs and maintains the growth of the gtLec1-producing cell necks during regeneration.

Key words: C-type lectins, gland cell necks, planarian, regeneration