Molecular Mechanisms Involved in the Antitumor Activity of Isolated Lectins from Marine Organisms: A Systematic Review

Author(s): Hugo Jefferson Ferreira, Evandro Moreira de Almeida, Wildson Max Barbosa da Silva, Edson Holanda Teixeira, Luiz Gonzaga do Nascimento Neto*

Journal Name: Current Drug Targets

Volume 21 , Issue 6 , 2020

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Graphical Abstract:


Introduction: Tumor cells may present several molecular alterations that favor their malignancy, among which there is the expression of tumor-related antigens, such as truncated T-glycans, Thomsen-nouvelle, sialyl-Lewis X and sialyl Tn, which may help in the diagnosis and treatment using specific target molecules. Lectins are ubiquitous proteins capable of interacting with specific carbohydrates. Lectins isolated from marine organisms have important characteristics such as low immunogenicity and can bind to complex glycans compared to plant lectins.

Objective: This work evaluated, through a systematic review, the molecular mechanisms of antitumor activity of lectins isolated from marine organisms. Methodology: The Pubmed, Lilacs, Science Direct, Wiley and Scopus databases were reviewed using the descriptors: marine lectin and cancer. Articles in English, published between January 2008 and December 2018, which proposed the molecular mechanisms of anticancer activity of lectins from marine organisms were eligible for the study.

Results: 17 articles were eligible. The lectins showed promising performance against cancer cells, presenting specific cytotoxicity for some types of malignant cells. The articles presented several lectins specific to different carbohydrates, modulating: pro and anti-apoptotic proteins, transcription factor E2F-1, via mitogen-activated protein kinase. In addition, exogenous lectin expression in cancer cells has been shown to be a promising way to treat cancer.

Conclusion: This review showed the various studies that described the molecular mechanisms caused by marine lectins with antineoplastic potential. This knowledge is relevant for the development and use of the next generations of lectins isolated from marine organisms, supporting their potential in cancer treatment.

Keywords: Cancer, marine lectin, antineoplastic, natural product, molecular mechanisms, marine organisms.

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Year: 2020
Published on: 23 April, 2020
Page: [616 - 625]
Pages: 10
DOI: 10.2174/1389450120666191122113850
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