The choanoflagellate pore-forming lectin SaroL-1 punches holes in cancer cells by targeting the tumor-related glycosphingolipid Gb3

Author: Notova, S., Bonnardel, F., Rosato, F., Siukstaite, L., Schwaiger, J., Lim, J.H., Bovin, N., Varrot, A., Ogawa, Y., Römer, W. and Lisacek, F.

Communications Biology, 2022


The authors of this study performed a sequence database screening to identify β-trefoil lectins in proteomes containing β pore-forming toxins (PFTs) that can create pores in bacteria membranes or other host cells. SaroL-1 was identified as a β-PFT with a membrane-binding domain with high affinity for cancer-related epitopes. The CytoSMART Exact (formerly known as the Corning Cell Counter) was used to quantify cellular death of H1299 cells in the presence of SaroL-1. The results show that SaroL-1 displays cytotoxic activity on cancer cells, suggesting its further use in nanopore technology and treatment of specific cancers.