Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis

First Advisor

Karen Reiner


In the nineteenth century, researchers discovered that some proteins had the ability to agglutinate red blood cells (Goldstein, 1980). These proteins were found mainly in the seeds of leguminous plants and were named phytohemagglutinins or hemagglutinins. Particular hemagglutinins were able to agglutinate red blood cells (RBCs) of a specific blood type. Now a days, these proteins are more widely known as Lectins. Lectins are proteinaceous macromolecules of nonimmune origin, capable of interacting with carbohydrates to form complexes (Goldstein, 1980). Lectins sources derive mainly from leguminous plants, animals, fruiting bodies of fungi, and bacteria. This research focuses on identifying the lectin activity and characteristics of certain synthetic compounds. Lectin activity was assessed by observing agglutination reactions of synthetic compounds and human red blood cells of a known human blood group and type in the ABO system. Lectins continue to be the focus of research due to their potential diverse applications specifically for blood grouping, mitogenic activity, and even stem cell transplantation.

Subject Area

Lectins, Glucuronides, Alginates