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THE EFFECT OF GALECTİN-3 ON APOPTOSİS

FUNDA KOSOVA

Abstract

Cancer is a disease caused by changes in the critical genes that control cell proliferation, differentiation, survival and apoptosis. Apoptotic cell death is an important mechanism and target for the anti-cancer treatment. A characteristic finding in many types of cancer is a reduction in apoptosis. Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a pleiotropic lectin that plays an important role in cell proliferation, adhesion, differentiation, angiogenesis, and apoptosis. Therefore, synthetic galectin-3 inhibitors are of utmost importance for development of new antitumor therapeutic strategies. Galectin-3 is mainly found in the cytoplasm, also seen in the nucleus and can be secreted by non-classical, secretory pathways. In general, secreted galectin-3 mediates cell migration, cell adhesion and cell–cell interactions through the binding with high affinity to galactose-containing glycoproteins on the cell surface. Cytoplasmic galectin-3 exhibits anti-apoptotic activity and regulates several signal transduction pathways, whereas nuclear galectin-3 has been associated with premRNA splicing and gene expression. During the past decade, extensive progress has been made toward understanding the molecular basis for the regulation of apoptosis. In this review, we have focused on the role of galectin-3 in tumor metastasis with special emphasis on apoptosis.


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