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Oncofetal antigen/immature laminin receptor protein in pregnancy and cancer


The 37-kDa immature laminin receptor protein (iLRP) is a speciesconserved, universal immunogenic protein that is expressed in all thus-far examined embryonic and early fetal cells of inbred and outbred rodents. It has also been identified in human concepti. It is altered through normal maturation processes to become a non-immunogenic 67-kDa dimeric mature laminin receptor protein (mLRP) in mid-to late gestation in the mammalian fetus. This antigen ceases to be expressed as an active autoimmunogen in the full-term fetus and in the normal differentiating tissues and organs of the neonate or adult organism, apparently due to dimerization, but it is re-expressed as an immunogenic monomer in tumor cells. In this review, we highlight the known mechanisms of immune responses with particular emphasis on the possible role of the 37-kDa oncofetal antigen/immature laminin receptor (OFA/iLRP) in both pregnancy and cancer.



antigen processing cell


cytotoxic T lymphocyte


dendritic cell




Fas ligand








immature laminin receptor protein


major histocompatibility complex


mature laminin receptor protein


natural killer


oncofetal antigen


T cytotoxic


T-cell receptor


transforming growth factor


T helper


tumor necrosis factor


regulatory T cells


T suppressor


tumor-specific transplantation antigen


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Correspondence to Adel L. Barsoum.

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In Memory of Professors Joseph H. Coggin and James W. Rohrer

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Barsoum, A.L., Schwarzenberger, P.O. Oncofetal antigen/immature laminin receptor protein in pregnancy and cancer. Cell Mol Biol Lett 19, 393–406 (2014).

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  • Cancer
  • Galectins
  • Immature laminin receptor
  • Oncofetal antigen
  • Pregnancy