Is α-N-acetylgalactosaminidase the key to curing cancer? A mini-review and hypothesis

J BUON. 2017 Nov-Dec;22(6):1372-1377.


In the constant battle against cancer cells, macrophages are of great importance. Their activation is achieved through various mechanisms such as Vitamin D binding protein (VDBP or Gc). After undergoing modifications via enzymes secreted by stimulated lymphocytes, VDBP is modified into Macrophages Activator Form/Factor (Gc-MAF). Some studies (particularly those focusing on cancer) have reported that an enzyme known as α-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (nagalase) facilitates the deglycosylation of Gc-MAF, which in turn inhibits the activation of macrophages. The aim of this review was to evaluate studies associated with nagalase and its escalation in various diseases and to propose hypothetical solutions in order to neutralize the effects of nagalase in cancer patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Macrophage-Activating Factors / pharmacology
  • Macrophage-Activating Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein / pharmacology
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein / therapeutic use*
  • alpha-N-Acetylgalactosaminidase / pharmacology
  • alpha-N-Acetylgalactosaminidase / therapeutic use*


  • Macrophage-Activating Factors
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein
  • vitamin D-binding protein-macrophage activating factor
  • alpha-N-Acetylgalactosaminidase