Differential expression of galectin-3 in medullary thyroid carcinoma and C-cell hyperplasia

ArticleinClinical Endocrinology 57(6):813-9 · January 2003with7 Reads
DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2265.2002.01673.x · Source: PubMed
Galectin-3 is a beta-galactoside-binding protein that plays a role in cell adhesion and tumour progression. It was shown recently to diagnose malignant follicular thyroid lesions accurately. The reliability of this marker in the differential diagnosis between medullary thyroid carcinoma and C-cell hyperplasia was studied by immunohistochemistry. Tissue specimens were obtained from 34 patients belonging to families with medullary thyroid carcinoma who underwent prophylactic thyroidectomy for RET gene mutation and/or abnormally increased plasma calcitonin levels. Galectin-3 was expressed in 23 of 25 cases of medullary thyroid carcinoma and in none of the nine cases of C-cell hyperplasia only, giving a sensitivity of 92% and a specificity of 100% for the diagnosis of carcinoma. A significant association was found between higher galectin-3 expression and occurrence of lymph node metastases (P < 0.05). Galectin-3 is a reliable diagnostic marker of medullary thyroid carcinoma, and its use may provide relevant information for prognosis and therapy.


    • "The specificity of anti-GAL-3 antibodies is demonstrated by negativity in control sections (CS) of the same tumor. Photos b, d, f represent a CCH case: CT and CEA are strongly positive and GAL-3 is negative in large C-cells (from Faggiano et al., 2002). CCH is defined as the presence of at least three fields containing more than or equal 50 Ccells in a single low-power field (magnification of x 100) (Santesanio et al., 1997). "
    Full-text · Chapter · Nov 2011 · Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters
    • "Remarkably, thyroid cancer represents the most studied cancer type regarding the differential expression of galectin-3 and its potential diagnostic and prognostic value. Yet, there is still some controversy; while some authors propose galectin-3 expression as a valuable molecular marker in the diagnosis of thyroid cancer (Faggiano et al., 2002; Cvejic et al., 2003; Pisani et al., 2004; Ersoz et al., 2008), others suggest its lack of significance to distinguish benign from malignant thyroid lesions (Martins et al., 2002; Takano et al., 2003; Mehrotra et al., 2004). In spite of these discrepancies, in a more recent review, Chiu and colleagues (2010) proposed the expression of this endogenous lectin as a very promising diagnostic marker for thyroid cancer. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Galectin-3 belongs to a family of highly conserved animal lectins characterized by their ability to recognize multiple N-acetyllactosamine sequences, which can be displayed on both N- and O-glycans on cell surface glycoconjugates. Although first identified in macrophages, galectin-3 (also called "Mac-2, εBP, CBP35 or L-29") has been found to be widely distributed in several tissues and developmental stages where, depending on its extracellular or intracellular localization, it can display a broad diversity of biological functions including immunomodulation, host-pathogen interactions, embryogenesis, angiogenesis, cell migration, wound healing and apoptosis. In spite of the existence of several reviews describing the multifunctional properties of galectin-3, an integrated view of the regulated expression of this glycan-binding protein in different normal tissues is lacking. Here we attempt to summarize and integrate available information on galectin-3 distribution in normal haematopoietic and non-haematopoietic tissues, mainly in adulthood, with only a brief reference to its expression during embryonic stages. In addition, given the multiplicity of biological roles attributed to this protein, a brief description of galectin-3 functions is also included. Understanding how galectin-3 is regulated in normal tissues will contribute to a rational design of approaches aimed at modulating galectin-3 expression and subcellular localization for experimental and therapeutic purposes.
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    • "On the other hand, expression of galectin-3 in the lymphatic metastases of papillary carcinoma appeared to be significantly lower than in corresponding primary lesions [74]. In the case of medullary thyroid carcinoma, galectin-3 expression was also reduced markedly in lymph node metastases as compared to corresponding thyroid tumors [78]. The published observations permit the conclusion to be drawn that cytoplasmic galectin-3 expression is a phenotype associated with malignant transformation and progression toward metastatic potential. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Galectin-3 is a 31 kDa member of a growing family of beta-galactoside-binding animal lectins. This protein is expressed in a variety of tissues and cell types and is mainly found in the cytoplasm, although, depending on cell type and proliferative state, a significant amount of this lectin can also be detected in the nucleus, on the cell surface or in the extracellular environment. Galectin-3 is secreted from cells by a novel and incompletely understood mechanism that is independent of the classical secretory pathway through the endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi network. Galectin-3 exhibits pleiotropic biological function, playing a key role in many physiological and pathological processes.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2004
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