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. 2000 Dec;6(12):4635-40.

Expression of Cytoplasmic galectin-3 as a Prognostic Marker in Tongue Carcinoma

  • PMID: 11156213
Free article

Expression of Cytoplasmic galectin-3 as a Prognostic Marker in Tongue Carcinoma

Y Honjo et al. Clin Cancer Res. .
Free article


Galectin-3 is a member of the beta-galactoside-binding mammalian lectin family with affinity to ABH group epitopes, cell surface and extracellular polylactosamine glycans. It has been shown to be involved in differentiation, morphogenesis, tumor progression, and metastasis. Here we questioned the possible involvement of galectin-3 in the neoplastic progression of the tongue epithelium and evaluated its prognostic value in tongue cancer patients. Galectin-3 expression was analyzed by the immunohistochemical method in 77 tongue specimens (54 squamous cell carcinomas and 23 specimens of distinct normal mucosa). Levels of nuclear expression of galectin-3 markedly decreased during the progression from normal to cancerous states (P < 0.0001), while cytoplasmic expression increased (P < 0.0001). Enhanced expression of galectin-3 in the cytoplasm was associated with a reduced disease-free survival of tongue cancer patients. Multivariate analysis identified enhanced expression of cytoplasmic galectin-3 as an independent predictor of disease recurrence (P = 0.0120). These results suggest that the observed translocation of galectin-3 from the nucleus to the cytoplasm during neoplastic progression may serve as a prognostic factor for tongue cancer patients.

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