Hemocyanins are large and versatile glycoproteins performing various immunological
and biological functions in many marine invertebrates including arthropods and
molluscs. This review discusses the various pharmacological applications of mollusc hemocyanin
such as antiviral activity, immunostimulatory and anticancer properties that
have been reported in the literature between the years 2000 and 2016. Emphasis is placed
on a better mechanistic understanding of hemocyanin as a therapeutic agent. Elucidation
of the mechanism of action is essential to improve the clinical efficacy and for a better
understanding of some endogenous immunological functions of this complex glycoprotein.
Keywords: Hemocyanin, mollusc, mechanism of action, antiviral activity, immunotherapy, cancer vaccines.
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