Description: Galectin-3 is a 26kDa -galactoside-binding protein belonging to the Galectin family, which consists of more than ten members. Galectin-3 is composed of a carboxyl-terminal carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) and amino-terminal tandem repeats. Galectin-3 normally distributes in epithelia of many organs and various inflammatory cells, including macrophages as well as dendritic cells and Kupfer cells. The expression of this lectin is up-regulated during inflammation, cell proliferation and cell differentiation and through transactivation by viral proteins. Galectin-3 has been shown to function through both intracellular and extracellular actions. It is a component of heterogeneous nuclear ribonuclear protein (hnRNP), a factor in pre-mRNA splicing and has been found to control cell cycle and prevent T-cell apoptosis through interaction with the Bcl-2 family members. On the other hand, this protein, which is secreted from
monocytes/macrophages and epithelial cells has been
demonstrated to function as an extracellular molecule in activating various types of cells such as monocytes/macrophages, mast cells,
neutrophils and lymphocytes. Galectin-3 has been shown to mediate
cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions and acts as a novel
chemoattractant for monocytes and macrophages.