The Determination and Comparison of the in vitro Lectin, Antimicrobial and Anti-HIV Reverse Transcriptase Activities of Three South Texas Fabaceae Leaf Extracts


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Plant extracts have proteins that possess significant biological properties. Studies on plant lectins reported that a number of lectins possess antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins that are of non-immunological origin and possess agglutination capabilities. The objective of this study was to determine lectin activity and biological activities of therapeutic potential of three South Texas Fabaceae leaf extracts. These were Senegalia berlandieri (Bentham), S. greggii (Gray) and Vachelia rigidula (Bentham). There was no significant difference in lectin activity among the three leaf extracts. Scanning electron microscopy images showed S. berlandieri extracts caused extracellular damage to Aspergillus niger. All three leaf extracts exhibited high anti-HIV1 RT activity when tested using an enzyme linked immunoadsorbent assay (ELISA). In order to determine any correlation between lectin activity and anti-HIV activity, ammonium sulfate precipitation was done. Correlational analyses suggest that another molecule other than the lectin may be responsible for the high anti-HIV1 RT activity exhibited by the leaf extracts. Further analyses and biomolecule isolation would prove beneficial in concluding the results of this study.