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Glycoconj J. 1994 Dec;11(6):527-32.

Effects of natural complex carbohydrate (citrus pectin) on murine melanoma cell properties related to galectin-3 functions.

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  • 1Cancer Metastasis Program, Michigan Cancer Foundation, Detroit 48201.


Citrus pectin (CP) and pH-modified citrus pectin (MCP) are highly branched and non-branched complex polysaccharides, respectively, rich in galactoside residues, capable of combining with the carbohydrate-binding domain of galectin-3. We reported previously that intravenous injection of B16-F1 murine melanoma cells with CP or MCP into syngeneic mice resulted in a significant increase or decrease of lung colonization, respectively (Platt D, Raz A (1992) J Natl Cancer Inst 84:438-42). Here we studied the effects of these polysaccharides on cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions mediated by carbohydrate-recognition. MCP, but not CP, inhibited B16-F1 melanoma cells adhesion to laminin and asialofetuin-induced homotypic aggregation. Both polysaccharides inhibited anchorage-independent growth of B16-F1 cells in semisolid medium, i.e. agarose. These results indicate that carbohydrate-recognition by cell surface galectin-3 may be involved in cell-extracellular matrix interaction and play a role in anchorage-independent growth as well as the in vivo embolization of tumour cells.

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