A novel lectin was isolated from the mushroom Agrocybe aegerita (designated AAL-2) by affinity chromatography with GlcNAc ( N-acetylglucosamine)-coupled Sepharose 6B after ammonium sulfate precipitation. The AAL-2 coding sequence (1224 bp) was identified by performing a homologous search of the five tryptic peptides identified by MS against the translated transcriptome of A. aegerita. The molecular mass of AAL-2 was calculated to be 43.175 kDa from MS, which was consistent with the data calculated from the amino acid sequence. To analyse the carbohydrate-binding properties of AAL-2, a glycan array composed of 465 glycan candidates was employed, and the result showed that AAL-2 bound with high selectivity to terminal non-reducing GlcNAc residues, and further analysis revealed that AAL-2 bound to terminal non-reducing GlcNAc residues with higher affinity than previously well-known GlcNAc-binding lectins such as WGA (wheatgerm agglutinin) and GSL-II ( Griffonia simplicifolia lectin-II). ITC (isothermal titration calorimetry) showed further that GlcNAc bound to AAL-2 in a sequential manner with moderate affinity. In the present study, we also evaluated the anti-tumour activity of AAL-2. The results showed that AAL-2 could bind to the surface of hepatoma cells, leading to induced cell apoptosis in vitro. Furthermore, AAL-2 exerted an anti-hepatoma effect via inhibition of tumour growth and prolongation of survival time of tumour-bearing mice in vivo.