Galectin-3 and metastasis
- Cite this article as:
- Takenaka, Y., Fukumori, T. & Raz, A. Glycoconj J (2002) 19: 543. doi:10.1023/B:GLYC.0000014084.01324.15
Galectin-3, a 31 kDa member of the β-galactoside-binding proteins, is an intracellular and extracellular lectin which interacts with intracellular glycoproteins, cell surface molecules and extracellular matrix proteins. Galectin-3 is expressed widely in epithelial and immune cells and its expression is correlated with cancer aggressiveness and metastasis. Galectin-3 is involved in various biological phenomena including cell growth, adhesion, differentiation, angiogenesis and apoptosis. Recent research revealed that galectin-3 is associated with several steps of invasion and metastasis, like angiogenesis, cell-matrix interaction, dissemination through blood flow and extravasation. Recently, we and others have shown that galectin-3 can be a reliable diagnostic marker in certain cancers and one of the target proteins of cancer treatment. In this review, we describe the involvement of galectin-3 in each steps of metastasis and clinical significance of galectin-3. Published in 2004.