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Cancer Res. 2007 Feb 1;67(3):1212-20.

Sensitizing effect of galectin-7 in urothelial cancer to cisplatin through the accumulation of intracellular reactive oxygen species.

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Department of Urology, Kyoto University, Graduate School of Medicine, 54 Shogoin Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 606-8507.


To improve chemotherapeutic efficacy in urothelial cancer, it is important to identify predictive markers for chemosensitivity as well as possible molecules accelerating cell killing mechanisms. In this study, we assessed the possibility of galectin-7 to accelerate cis-diamminedichloroplatinum (CDDP)-induced cell killing in vitro and also to predict chemosensitivity against CDDP in urothelial cancer patients. The expression of galectin-7 was analyzed in five bladder cancer cell lines with different p53 status after treatment with CDDP. The roles of galectin-7 in chemosensitivity against CDDP were analyzed by transfection of the galectin-7 gene into several of these cell lines. Furthermore, the relationship between the expression of galectin-7 and the response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy was analyzed in 17 human bladder cancer specimens. Exposure to CDDP induced galectin-7 in cell lines with wild-type p53 but not in those with mutated p53. When the galectin-7 gene was transfected into cell lines with mutated p53, the sensitivity to CDDP increased compared with control transfectants. In addition, galectin-7-transfected cells exhibited more accumulation of intracellular reactive oxygen species and activation of c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) and Bax than control transfectants. SP600125, an inhibitor of JNK, or antioxidant N-acetyl-L-cysteine inhibited the enhancement of chemosensitivity against CDDP by galectin-7 transfection. In clinical samples, the expression levels of galectin-7 were significantly lower in urothelial carcinomas compared with normal urothelium. When chemosensitivity was tested, its expression levels were higher in the chemosensitive group than in the chemoresistant group. Galectin-7 is a candidate for a predictive marker of chemosensitivity against CDDP, and the targeted expression of galectin-7 might overcome the chemoresistance of urothelial cancer.

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