Galanthus nivalis lectin, unlike most mannose-specific lectins, is not a metalloprotein and does not require Ca++or Mn++ for binding.
Binding seems to be preferentially directed toward structures containing (α-1,3) mannose residues. Also in contrast to most mannose-binding lectins, GNL will not bind α-linked glucose. Reports indicate that this lectin binds rat and mouse IgM but not IgG. The only protein from human serum reported to bind to this lectin is α2-macroglobulin. GNL binds to many viral glycoproteins.