The effect of three plant lectins, soybean lectin (SBA), Japanese jack bean lectin (CGA), and wheat germ lectin (WGA), on the transport of various food factors, such as isoflavones, quercetin, dipeptides, and calcium ions, were investigated by use of an intestinal tract model, Caco-2 cell monolayers. The lectins increased the isoflavone transport but had no effect on aglycon transport. SBA increased the transport of quercetin glycosides, whereas CGA and WGA had no effect. The lectins increased the transport of calcium ions but showed no effect on the transport of dipeptides, carnosine, and anserine. Although SBA did not change the transepithelial electrical resistance (TER) value of the Caco-2 cell monolayers, CGA and WGA decreased the TER value. These results indicate that plant lectins affect the transport of food factors in different manners, presumably due to their specific sugar binding activity.
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