Galectin-3 expression is induced in cirrhotic liver and hepatocellular carcinoma

Daniel K. Hsu, Christopher A. Dowling, K. C George Jeng, Jung Ta Chen, Ri Yao Yang, Fu-Tong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

171 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Galectins are a family of β-galactoside-binding animal lectins. In particular, a widely studied member galectin-3, previously designated as εBP, CBP35, Mac-2, L-29 and L-34, has been associated with assorted processes such as cell growth, tumor transformation and metastasis. Galectin- 3 is expressed in various tissues and organs but is significantly absent in normal hepatocytes. However, evaluation of patient liver biopsies for galectin-3 expression resulted in the finding that hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) frequently expressed significant levels of this lectin (76% immunohistochemically positive). Further investigation revealed that galectin-3 expression in HCC is independent of whether the patient had prior hepatitis B virus infection: 14 of 18 HCC cases from HBV+ patients, and 5 of 7 cases from HBV- patients demonstrated positive galectin-3 immunohistochemistry. However, co-transfection studies using a galectin-3 promoter construct and an HBV-X protein (HBV-X) expression vector demonstrated that galectin-3 expression can occur through transactivation of the lectin promoter by HBV-X. Based on presently known properties of this lectin, it is possible that deregulated expression of galectin-3 can result in tumor transformation and invasiveness, or confer propensity for tumor cell survival. In addition, galectin-3 was abundantly expressed in cirrhotic liver in peripheral distribution within regenerating nodules. Such galectin-3 expression in rapidly proliferating hepatocytes in cirrhotic liver may be a result of the high mitotic index. Alternatively, it is possible that proliferating cells expressing galectin-3 are in the process of being transformed, thus indicating an early neoplastic event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-526
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cancer
Volume81
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1999

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Galectin 3
Hepatocellular Carcinoma
Liver
Lectins
Hepatocytes
Galectins
Galactosides
Neoplasms
Mitotic Index
Virus Diseases
Hepatitis B virus
Transcriptional Activation
Transfection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Cite this

Galectin-3 expression is induced in cirrhotic liver and hepatocellular carcinoma. / Hsu, Daniel K.; Dowling, Christopher A.; Jeng, K. C George; Chen, Jung Ta; Yang, Ri Yao; Liu, Fu-Tong.

In: International Journal of Cancer, Vol. 81, No. 4, 1999, p. 519-526.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hsu, Daniel K. ; Dowling, Christopher A. ; Jeng, K. C George ; Chen, Jung Ta ; Yang, Ri Yao ; Liu, Fu-Tong. / Galectin-3 expression is induced in cirrhotic liver and hepatocellular carcinoma. In: International Journal of Cancer. 1999 ; Vol. 81, No. 4. pp. 519-526.
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