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Eur J Cancer. 2012 Aug;48(12):1914-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ejca.2012.02.005. Epub 2012 Mar 2.

High galectin-1 expression correlates with poor prognosis and is involved in epithelial ovarian cancer proliferation and invasion.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.



Galectin-1 (Gal-1) is a 14-kDa laminin-binding galectin involved in several biological events including regulation of tumour proliferation and metastasis. In this study, we investigated the clinical significance of Gal-1 expression and its functional role in cell proliferation and invasion in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).


We evaluated the expression of Gal-1 in 52 serous, 11 endometrioid, and 3 mucinous type EOC tumour samples from 66 patients by immunohistochemistry. In vitro experiments were performed to determine the function of Gal-1 in cell survival, proliferation, and invasion in EOC cells using siRNA and anginex, a Gal-1 inhibitor, as well as recombinant Gal-1 protein.


Patients with strong Gal-1 peritumoural staining had poorer progression-free survival (PFS) than patients with weak peritumoural staining (p=0.03). Inhibition of Gal-1 by siRNA or anginex resulted in the inhibition of cell growth and proliferation of HeyA8 and SKOV3ip1 cells. Moreover, the ability of cells to migrate was significantly reduced by treatment of cells with Gal-1 siRNA but was increased by treatment of cells with recombinant Gal-1. When we evaluated the interaction between fibroblasts (T HESCs) and cancer cells (A2780-CP20), we found that MMP-2 expression in cancer cells was affected by Gal-1 secreted by fibroblast cells, which suggests that Gal-1 in human fibroblasts might affect the invasive abilities of tumour cells.


Our results suggest that Gal-1 expression is a potential prognostic factor for PFS and that Gal-1 could be a novel treatment target in EOC patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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