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Concanavalin A

Concanavalin A (con A) is a homotetrameric, 26 kDa lectin derived from the jack bean, Canavalia ensiformis. Concanavalin A binds to alpha-D glucose and alpha-D-mannose containing saccharides. Concanavalin A requires both Mn2+ and Ca2+ ions as a co-factor for binding. Since each con A has four binding sites, it can agglutinate cells such as red blood cells. Con A can also cause cell surface receptor aggregation which can be mitogenic for some lymphocytes.