Galectin-1 and galectin-3 expression in human prostate tissue and prostate cancer

Urol Res. 1999 Oct;27(5):362-7. doi: 10.1007/s002400050164.


Galectin-1 and galectin-3, two beta-galactoside-binding proteins, have been suggested to play a role in the development and progression of cancer. We have studied the expression of these molecules in normal human prostate tissue and prostate adenocarcinoma. Immunohistochemistry was used to examine formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded sections of seven normal human prostates, eight cases of prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN), 20 primary adenocarcinomas of the prostate, and 12 prostate cancer metastases. Galectin-1 was expressed in most cases of all four histologic types. In contrast, galectin-3 expression was significantly decreased in primary carcinoma and metastatic disease compared with normal and premalignant tissue. Galectin-3 expression in primary tumors tended to be less than that of surrounding normal glands. We conclude that loss of galectin-3 expression may be associated with the progression of prostate cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / secondary
  • Antigens, Differentiation / metabolism*
  • Galectin 1
  • Galectin 3
  • Hemagglutinins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Prostate / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology
  • Reference Values
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Galectin 1
  • Galectin 3
  • Hemagglutinins