Novel Oncogenic Marker and Molecular Target for Treatment of Cancer

Legumain (LGMN) may serve as both a potential oncogenic marker and a
molecular target for treatment of cancer especially for personalized
medicine. Although recent findings have shed light on the functional
roles and expression patterns of LGMN, further investigations are still
warranted to elucidate the exact role and underlying mechanism of action
for LGMN in cancer.


LGMN, or asparaginyl endopeptidase, is a newly identified
lysosomal cysteine protease. It was recently found to be over-expressed
in tumor microenvironment , an enclosed environment that facilitates
the interaction among the human solid tumors, tumor-associated
endothelial and stromal cells, as well as in tumor-associated
macrophages.

‘Targeting legumain (LGMN) directly or utilizing LGMN as a prodrug activator are promising strategies for cancer management in the future.’

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These non-malignant cells support the growth of the
tumors, metastasis and the survival of tumors. One of the identified
key biomarkers driving the complexity of tumor microenvironment is
LGMN. LGMN is a robust acidic cysteine endopeptidase with remarkably
restricted specificity for hydrolysis of asparaginyl bonds.

LGMN is well conserved, having been reportedly present in plants,
invertebrate parasites, as well as in mammals. Mammalian LGMN processes
the self and foreign antigens expressed by antigen presenting cells and
proteolytically activates toll-like receptor, the innate immunity
receptor.

Since LGMN has been implicated in tumor development and can
potentially be developed into both diagnostic and therapeutic markers.
This review aims to relate the recent findings on the biology of LGMN in
cancers, to the therapeutic advancements in targeting LGMN in human
cancers.

Recent discoveries have also demonstrated that
targeting LGMN directly or utilizing LGMN as a prodrug activator are
promising strategies for cancer management in the future. However,
further research is necessary before such therapeutic strategies can be
fully realized.

Source: Eurekalert