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Appl Biochem Biotechnol. 2012 Oct;168(3):629-37. doi: 10.1007/s12010-012-9805-6. Epub 2012 Jul 24.

Animal lectins: potential antitumor therapeutic targets in apoptosis.

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Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, General Hospital of PLA, Beijing 100853, China.


Lectins, a group of carbohydrate-binding proteins ubiquitously distributed into plants and animals, are well-known to have astonishing numerous links to human cancers. In this review, we present a brief outline of the representative animal lectins such as galectins, C-type lectins, and annexins by targeting programmed cell death (or apoptosis) pathways, and also summarize these representative lectins as possible anti-cancer drug targets. Taken together, these inspiring findings would provide a comprehensive perspective for further elucidating the multifaceted roles of animal lectins in apoptosis pathways of cancer, which, in turn, may ultimately help us to exploit lectins for their therapeutic purposes in future drug discovery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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