Galectin-1 as a potent target for cancer therapy: role in the tumor microenvironment
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The microenvironment of a tumor is a highly complex milieu, primarily characterized by immunosuppression, abnormal angiogenesis, and hypoxic regions. These features promote tumor progression and metastasis, resulting in poor prognosis and greater resistance to existing cancer therapies. Galectin-1 is a ߭galactoside binding protein that is abundantly secreted by almost all types of malignant tumor cells. The expression of galectin-1 is regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor-1 (HIF-1) and it plays vital pro-tumorigenic roles within the tumor microenvironment. In particular, galectin-1 suppresses T cell-mediated cytotoxic immune responses and promotes tumor angiogenesis. However, since galectin-1 displays many different activities by binding to a number of diverse N- or O-glycan modified target proteins, it has been difficult to fully understand how galectin-1 supports tumor growth and metastasis. This review explores the importance of galectin-1 and glycan expression patterns in the tumor microenvironment and the potential effects of inhibiting galectin-1 as a therapeutic target for cancer treatment.
Cancer Metastasis Reviews
© 2012 Springer Netherlands. This is an electronic version of an article published in Cancer and Metastasis Reviews, December 2012, Volume 31, Issue 3-4, pp 763-778. Cancer and Metastasis Reviews is available online at: http://link.springer.com// with the open URL of your article.
Cancer Therapy (excl. Chemotherapy and Radiation Therapy)