Planta Med 2014; 80 - P1C19
DOI: 10.1055/s-0034-1394644

Mistletoe lectin quantification by two different enzyme linked immunosorbent assays

K Mulsow 1, MF Melzig 1
  • 1Institute of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Biology, Freie Universitaet Berlin, Königin-Luise-Str. 2+4, 14195 Berlin, Germany

In cancer therapy, alternative treatments become more relevant due to the severe side effects of the chemotherapeutics used in the first-line therapy. Viscum album L. (Santalaceae) belongs to the phytotherapeutic drugs applied in alternative cancer treatment [1]. The main ingredients of the aqueous extracts are the mistletoe lectins which belong to the ribosome-inactivating proteins type II [2]. In this work, two different enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) for the determination of mistletoe lectins are developed. The methods use specific antibodies against the lectins' a-chain and asialofetuin, a glycoprotein, which binds with high affinity to the b-chain. The first ELISA determines only the a-chain, by capturing and detecting the a-chain alone. The second method quantifies the hololectin by capturing the b-chain and then again detecting the a-chain. The concentration of the hololectin is about 60 per cent of the concentration of the a-chain alone. Only the co-occurence of a- and b-chain, i.e. the hololectin, has the published effect of immune stimulation and induction of apoptosis [3]. To find the correct pharmacokinetic parameters for therapy it is necessary to know the content of hololectin.


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[2] Olsnes, S. et al. (1982)J Biol Chem 257: 13263 – 70.

[3] Büssing, A. (1996) Apoptosis 1: 25 – 32.