Decreased galectin-3 expression in prostate cancer

Prostate. 2000 Jul 1;44(2):118-23. doi: 10.1002/1097-0045(20000701)44:2<118::aid-pros4>;2-u.


Background: Galectin-3 is a carbohydrate-binding protein whose level of expression has been shown to be correlated with metastatic potential in a number of different tumor types. The purpose of this investigation was to examine galectin-3 expression in several tumorigenic and nontumorigenic prostate cell lines and prostate tissue samples.

Methods: The expression of galectin-3 in cell lines and tissue samples was evaluated by tissue immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis.

Results: Human cell lines PC-3M, PC-3, DU-145, PrEC-1, and MCF10A demonstrated the presence of galectin-3. Galectin-3 was not detected in TSU-pr1 and LNCaP by Western blot analysis. We furthered our studies by examining a series of human prostate tissue samples for expression of galectin-3. Overall, approximately 60-70% of the normal tissue examined demonstrated heterogenous expression of galectin-3. In stage II tumors, however, there was a dramatic decrease in galectin-3 expression in both PIN and tumor sections, with only 10.5% (2/19) of these samples expressing this protein. Stage III tumors also demonstrated a decreased expression of galectin-3, although this downregulation was not as dramatic, with 35% of PIN samples and 52% of tumor tissue expressing galectin-3 (P < 0.01).

Conclusions: These data demonstrate that galectin-3 is downregulated in prostate cancer. The altered downregulation pattern of galectin-3 observed between tumor stages suggests different roles for galectin-3 in the progression of prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Differentiation / analysis
  • Antigens, Differentiation / biosynthesis*
  • Antigens, Differentiation / genetics
  • Blotting, Western
  • Cell Line
  • Galectin 3
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Neoplastic*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Male
  • Prostate / cytology
  • Prostate / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemistry
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Galectin 3