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Biol Chem. 2013 Jul;394(7):889-900. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2012-0279.

Potential importance of Maackia amurensis agglutinin in non-small cell lung cancer.

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  • 1Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research PGIMER, Department of Radiotherapy, Chandigarh 160012, India.


Maackia amurensis agglutinin is a NeuNAcα (2-3) Galβ (1-4) GlcNAc/Glc-specific lectin, which was shown to have diagnostic potential in cancers of different origin. In a previous report, we demonstrated that GM3 specific IgG from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients interacted with ∼66kDa membrane glycoprotein band of NSCLC cell lines, which was also recognised by this lectin. This observation prompted us to assess the potential of Maackia amurensis agglutinin in NSCLC. Accordingly, we examined the reactivity of this lectin with NSCLC cell lines as well as the tissue biopsies and cells obtained from fine needle aspirations of NSCLC patients. Maackia amurensis agglutinin showed strong reactivity, specifically with cells and biopsy samples of NSCLC origin. Furthermore, this lectin was found to induce apoptosis in NSCLC cells. The mechanism of this lectin-induced apoptosis involved downregulation of Bcl-XL, upregulation of Bax, release of cytochrome c and activation of procaspase-3. Collectively our results have suggested that Maackia amurensis agglutinin may have the potential to serve as a unique probe for detection of NSCLC and also as a specific apoptosis-inducing agent in NSCLC cells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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