Evolving mechanistic insights into galectin functions.


Arthur CM, Baruffi MD, Cummings RD, Stowell SR. Evolving mechanistic insights into galectin functions. Methods Mol Biol. 2015;1207 :1-35.

Date Published:



Galectins are an evolutionarily ancient family of glycan-binding proteins (GBPs) and are found in all animals. Although they were discovered over 30 years ago, ideas about their biological functions continue to evolve. Current evidence indicates that galectins, which are the only known GBPs that occur free in the cytoplasm and extracellularly, are involved in a variety of intracellular and extracellular pathways contributing to homeostasis, cellular turnover, cell adhesion, and immunity. Here we review evolving insights into galectin biology from a historical perspective and explore current evidence regarding biological roles of galectins.