LECSTER is the largest, open-access searchable database of lectin characterizations, clinical correlates and citations on the Internet.

Programmed and curated by Peter D'Adamo.

Copyright 2001-2011.

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Source Organism


Lecster FAQ

The Lecster database is searchable by several fields. They are identified and explained here.


Genus and species
This is the standard scientific nomenclature, in Latin.

Common nomenclature
Although considered archaic,  trivial names and three letter abbreviations constitute the most common way many lectin are represented in the literature.

Source organism
This is most usually whatever common name the source of the lectin or galectin is known by, if any.

Source tissue
This is most usually where the lectin has been isolated. They are identified in table 3.

The overall specificity of the lectin or galectin. When the specificity has been determined in detail, the most inhibitory compound is indicated in brackets.

What glycoconjugates have been shown to inhibit biological activity (most usually hemagglutination.)

Biologic activity
What biologic systems have been shown to be influenced by the lectin, with relevant literature references. These are most often hemagglutination or mitogenic reactions. ABO or other blood group specificity provided when possible.

References which can be consider authoritative as far as characterization of the lectin is concerned. 

Characterization notes
Structure/ function reports with relevant literature citations 

Lectin nomenclature
Lecster uses an expanded lectin nomenclature system originally proposed for plant lectins by Van Damme et al (Handbook of Plant Lectins, John Wiley & Sons). This allows a more specific identification of the lectin and carries with it the added benefit of much relevant information being contained directly in the key. Also, once comprehended,  it becomes perhaps the most sophisticated way to search Lecster via partial entries.

It takes the following form:



An explanation of each index variable follows.

LLL refers to the general category of agglutinin. At this point six general categories are recognized: lectins (LEC), integrins (INT), cadherins (CDH), annexins (ANN), selectins (SEL) and galectins (GLT). The x value refers to the taxonomic groups  of the agglutinin, Table 1 summarizes these categories:


Category Taxonomic group
LECa, GLTa Lectin or galectin from higher animal, typically vertebrates.
LECh, GLTh Lectin or galectin from humans
LECi, GLTi Lectin or galectin from invertebrates
LECp.  Plant lectins
LECf.  Lectin from fungi
LECu.  Lectin from unicellular organisms
LECb.  Lectin from Bacteria
LECv.  Viral lectins

Ggg stands for the three first letters of the plant genus name (in Latin).

Sss stands for the three first letters of the plant species name (in Latin).

ti refers to the tissue from which the lectin has been isolated. Table 2 summarizes the indices used for the various tissues.

Tissue,cell or organ Taxonomic grouping Index
Bark Plant ba
Bulb Plant bu
Cell membrane Bacteria, Unicellular cm
Epidermis Human, vertebrates ep
Fruit Plant fr
Hemolymph Invertebrates he
Latex Plant la
Leaf Plant le
Nodule Plant no
Organ or cell type Human, vertebrates, Invertebrates oc
Phloem sap Plant ps
Rhizome Plant rh
Root Plant ro
Seed Plant se
Serum or plasma Human, vertebrates, Invertebrates sr
Spores or fruiting bodies Fungi sp
Stem Plant st
Tentacles Invertebrates te
Tuber Plant tu
Whole body homogenate Invertebrates wb
Venom Invertebrates ve
Undefined Human, vertebrates, Invertebrates, Bacteria, Unicellular, Virus, Fungal un

T refers to the lectin subtype. Hololectins, merolectins, chimerolectins and superlectins are indicated by the letters H, M, C and S, respectively.

sp refers to the specificity group. Each group is indicated by the index given in Table 3


Specificity Index of group
Mannose-binding lectins  ma
Mannose/maltose-binding lectins  mm
Mannose/glucose-binding lectins mg
GlcNAc/(GlcNAc)-binding lectins ch
Gal/GalNAc-binding lectins ga
Fucose-binding lectins fu
Sialic acid-binding lectins  si
Lectins with a complex but known specificity  co
Lectins with a complex and unknown specificity  cu
Lectins with a dual specificity du
Lectins with an undetermined specificity nd


N is used to distinguish different lectins of the same specificity group which may occur in the same tissue of a single plant species. When a plant contains only one lectin of a given specificity in a particular tissue, the number is 1. In case different lectins of the same specificity are found in the same tissue, numbers refer to the (chronological) order of their discovery.


This is the most specific category the lectin can be classified under.



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