C O N T E N T S
Carbohydrates are now known to play a vital role in cell-cell recognition processes. One of the most important carbohydrates for humans is the blood group antigen Sialyl Lewis X (SLeX).
The tetrasaccharide SLeX is displayed on the terminus of glycolipids that are present on the surface of white blood cells. It has been shown1 that SLeX has an important role in inflamation processes. The inital adhesion of white blood cells to a site of injury is mediated by E-selectins which are specific for SLeX. Cell-cell recognition between leukocytes and endothelial cells in blood is believed to occur in part through interactions between lectins and oligosaccharide ligands.
However if too many white blood cells are recruited to one injury site normal cells can also be destroyed leading to conditions such as septic shock and rheumatoid arthritis. Large quantities of SLeX have also been found on the surfaces of certain tumor and cancer cells.
C O N T E N T S
Carbohydrate antigens sialyl Lewis A and sialyl Lewis X and adhesion of human cancer cells to vascular endothelium
Cancer Res. 1993 Jan 15;53(2):354-61.
Takada A, Ohmori K, Yoneda T, Tsuyuoka K, Hasegawa A, Kiso M, Kannagi R.
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