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Histochem Cell Biol. 2006 Jan;125(1-2):171-82. Epub 2005 Oct 28.

Nuclear presence of adhesion-/growth-regulatory galectins in normal/malignant cells of squamous epithelial origin.

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Institute of Anatomy, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, U nemocnice 3, 128 00, Prague 2, Czech Republic.


Cellular activities in the regulation of growth or adhesion/migration involve protein (lectin)-carbohydrate recognition at the cell surface. Members of the galectin family of endogenous lectins additionally bind distinct intracellular ligands. These interactions with protein targets explain the relevance of their nuclear and cytoplasmic presence. Expression profiling for galectins and accessible binding sites is a histochemical approach to link localization with cellular growth properties. Non-cross-reactive antibodies for the homodimeric (proto-type) galectins-1, -2 and -7 and the chimera-type galectin-3 (Gal-3) as well as the biotinylated lectins were tested. This analysis was performed with the FaDu squamous carcinoma cell line and long-term cultured human and porcine epidermal cells as models for malignant and normal cells of squamous cell epithelial origin. A set of antibodies was added for phenotypic cell characterization. Strong nuclear and cytoplasmic signals of galectins and the differential reactivity of labeled galectins support the notion of their individual properties. The length of the period of culture was effective in modulating marker expression. Cytochemical expression profiling is a prerequisite for the selection of distinct proteins for targeted modulation of gene expression as a step toward functional analysis.

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