The effect of plant lectins on the survival and malignant behaviors of thyroid cancer cells

Kaptan E. , Sancar-Bas S. , Sancakli A., Bektas S., Bolkent S.

JOURNAL OF CELLULAR BIOCHEMISTRY, vol.119, no.7, pp.6274-6287, 2018 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 119 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/jcb.26875
  • Page Numbers: pp.6274-6287


Altered or aberrant glycosylation is a common phenomenon in cancer cells and it originates from changes in the expression of the enzymes, glycosyltransferase, and glycosidase which up-regulate in response to some oncogenes in the glycan synthesis pathway. In this present study, it has been aimed to determine the alteration of sialic acid and fucose expressions in the cell surface of human thyroid carcinoma cells and investigate the changes in tumorigenic and malignant characters after treating them with specific plant lectins. Our study showed that the cell surface glycan chains of anaplastic 8305C, follicular FTC-133, and papillary K1 thyroid carcinoma cells were rich in -2,6, -2,3, sialic acid, and -1,6 fucose residues. When the cells were treated with specific doses of Maackia amurensis lectin II (MAL), Sambucus nigra agglutinin (SNA), and Aleuria aurantia lectin (AAL) which have specific binding capacity for the detected glycan residues, respectively their cancerous traits changed dramatically. Remarkable findings obtained from MAL treatment leading to necrosis in 8505C cells without any toxicity for normal thyroid epithelial cells but it had proliferative effect on K1 and FCT-133 cells. Besides, MAL and SNA treatment decreased the mobility of 8505C and K1 cells. MAL and SNA lectins dramatically reduced the endothelial affinity of the cells and AAL significantly attenuated that of 8050C and K1 cells but not FTC-133. These results suggest that altered cell surface glycosylation in thyroid cancer seems to be a strong candidate for developing new therapeutic strategies.