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Glycoconj J. 2002;19(7-9):551-6.

90K (Mac-2 BP) and galectins in tumor progression and metastasis.

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Department of Oncology and Neurosciences, Sections of Medical Oncology and Pathology, University G D'Annunzio, Chieti 66100, Italy.


Galectins and their ligands have been implicated in cell transformation and cancer metastasis, and found to have prognostic value. Mac-2 BP, also known as 90K, is a highly glycosylated, secreted protein extensively studied in human cancer, which binds galectin-1, galectin-3 and galectin-7. High expression levels of 90K are associated with a shorter survival, the occurrence of metastasis or a reduced response to chemotherapy in patients with different types of malignancy. The mechanisms underlying the prognostic significance of 90K and galectins in cancer are far from being understood, although they may be related to the ability of these proteins to interact and, to some extent, modulate cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion and apoptosis. The resulting scenario is even more complex, as data have been presented that all these proteins might be associated with either a positive or a negative outcome of the patients. It is hypothesised that different galectins and galectin ligands with overlapping or opposite functions, expressed in different tumors during the different steps of the metastatic cascade might play a crucial role in tumor progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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