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Abstract

Lectins : Novel Drug Targeting Molecules

Author(s): A. K Tiwary, R. S Singh

Lectins are carbohydrate-binding oligomeric proteins or glycoproteins of non-immune origin. Their occurrence is not restricted to plant sources but is ubiquitous and are found in animal cells also. These molecules bind reversibly with specific sugars and precipitate polysaccharides, glycoproteins and glycolipids bearing specific sugars, thus acting as cell recognizers. Their presence on tumor cells is being widely exploited for recognizing the specificity of tumor cells towards a possible means of targeting them. In addition, the presence of specific lectins on microorganisms and host tissues is being investigated for targeting drugs towards them. This review discusses the role of lectins in their-site-specific recognition of tissues and for targeted drug delivery.

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