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Nat Toxins. 1997;5(4):157-63.

Antitumor effect of plant lectins.

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  • 1Department of Food Research and Postgraduate Studies, Autonomous University of Queretaro, Mexico.


This review examines the literature data concerning the biological activity of plant lectins. Numerous studies have reported that these substances possess toxic, cytotoxic, antitumor, and anticarcinogenic properties. A brief description of the biological properties of plant lectins, as well as the effect of plant lectins on normal and malignant cells and the antitumor properties of these lectins in vivo and in vitro, are included. These findings are interpreted and possible mechanisms of the antitumor effect of plant lectins are discussed.

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