ABSTRACT: The galectins are a family of evolutionay-conserved carbohydrate-binding proteins. They are distributed widely in all living organisms and have been implicated in many essential functions including development, differentiation, cell-cell adhesion, cell-matrix interaction, growth regulation, apoptosis. Several members of the galectin family have also been shown to be involved in cancer progression and metastasis. In the case of galectin-7, several studies have reported alterations in its expression pattern during cancer progression. In a variety of tumors, its expression can range from being completely down-regulated to highly up-regulated. Accordingly, its precise role in this field is still debated. The evidence shows that galectin-7 may promote or inhibit cancer development. In this article, we review the data concerning expression and roles of galectin-7 in cancer and propose a comprehensive view of its contribution during cancer progression.
Frontiers in Bioscience 01/2012; 17:438-50. · 3.52 Impact Factor