Lectins are common proteins that bind to carbohydrates and that play a role, amongst other things, in the formation of bacterial biofilms.
Lectins can specifically adhere to cells because of their binding to carbohydrates. That way, they influence various metabolic pathways. Lectins are also produced by bacteria such as the pathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa
. By binding to sugar molecules on bacteria, lectins link these molecules and induce formation of a biofilm
, in which the immune system
cannot fight the bacteria.