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Galectins as Cancer Biomarkers
Karmanos Cancer Institute, Wayne State University, 110 E. Warren Avenue, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 March 2010; in revised form: 2 April 2010 / Accepted: 19 April 2010 / Published: 20 April 2010
Abstract: Galectins are a group of proteins that bind β-galactosides through evolutionarily conserved sequence elements of the carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD). Proteins similar to galectins can be found in very primitive animals such as sponges. Each galectin has an individual carbohydrate binding preference and can be found in cytoplasm as well as in the nucleus. They also can be secreted through non-classical pathways and function extra-cellularly. Experimental and clinical data demonstrate a correlation between galectin expression and tumor progression and metastasis, and therefore, galectins have the potential to serve as reliable tumor markers. In this review, we describe the expression and role of galectins in different cancers and their clinical applications for diagnostic use.
Keywords: galectins; biomarkers; cancer
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Balan, V.; Nangia-Makker, P.; Raz, A. Galectins as Cancer Biomarkers. Cancers 2010, 2, 592-610.
Balan V, Nangia-Makker P, Raz A. Galectins as Cancer Biomarkers. Cancers. 2010; 2(2):592-610.
Balan, Vitaly; Nangia-Makker, Pratima; Raz, Avraham. 2010. "Galectins as Cancer Biomarkers." Cancers 2, no. 2: 592-610.