Lectins with potential for anti-cancer therapy

Molecules. 2015 Feb 26;20(3):3791-810. doi: 10.3390/molecules20033791.


This article reviews lectins of animal and plant origin that induce apoptosis and autophagy of cancer cells and hence possess the potential of being developed into anticancer drugs. Apoptosis-inducing lectins encompass galectins, C-type lectins, annexins, Haliotis discus discus lectin, Polygonatum odoratum lectin, mistletoe lectin, and concanavalin A, fucose-binding Dicentrarchus labrax lectin, and Strongylocentrotus purpuratus lectin, Polygonatum odoratum lectin, and mistletoe lectin, Polygonatum odoratum lectin, autophagy inducing lectins include annexins and Polygonatum odoratum lectin.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Apoptosis / drug effects*
  • Autophagy / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Lectins / therapeutic use*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Lectins