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Lectin binding to formalin-fixed paraffin sections.
  1. A Leathem,
  2. N Atkins


    Lectins are potentially useful tools in histopathology for the identification of carbohydrates and distinguishing cells according to their type, differentiation or function. Conjugated to fluorescent or enzyme labels, lectins are simple to use on fresh tissue but fixation and processing sequesters glycoconjugates and dissolves out fat-linked sugars. We describe here the use of labelled antibodies to lectins to localise sites of lectin binding and increase sensitivity, combined with trypsin and neuraminidase to reveal sequestered carbohydrates. Absorbing lectins with appropriate sugars establishes the specificity of binding and allows lectins to be used as sensitive and specific reagents.

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