Journal Article

Algal and cyanobacterial lectins and their antimicrobial properties

Lectins are proteins with a remarkably high affinity and specificity for carbohydrates. Many organisms naturally produce them, including animals, plants, fungi, protists, bacteria, archaea, and viruses. The present report focuses on lectins produced by marine or freshwater organisms, in particular algae and cyanobacteria. We explore their structure, function, classification, and antimicrobial properties. Furthermore, we look at the expression of lectins in heterologous systems and the current research on the preclinical and clinical evaluation of these fascinating molecules. The further development of these molecules might positively impact human health, particularly the prevention or treatment of diseases caused by pathogens such as human immunodeficiency virus, influenza, and severe acute respiratory coronaviruses, among others.