Lactoferrin: A Glycoprotein Involved in Immunomodulation, Anticancer, and Antimicrobial Processes

Molecules. 2021 Jan 3;26(1):205. doi: 10.3390/molecules26010205.


Lactoferrin is an iron binding glycoprotein with multiple roles in the body. Its participation in apoptotic processes in cancer cells, its ability to modulate various reactions of the immune system, and its activity against a broad spectrum of pathogenic microorganisms, including respiratory viruses, have made it a protein of broad interest in pharmaceutical and food research and industry. In this review, we have focused on describing the most important functions of lactoferrin and the possible mechanisms of action that lead to its function.

Keywords: anti-cancer activity; antibacterial activity; immune system; lactoferrin.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Infective Agents / metabolism*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / metabolism*
  • Lactoferrin / metabolism*


  • Anti-Infective Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Immunologic Factors
  • LTF protein, human
  • Lactoferrin