Galectin-12 is a member of a family of mammalian lectins characterized by their affinity for β-galactosides and consensus amino acid sequences. The protein structure consists of a single polypeptide chain containing two carbohydrate-recognition domains joined by a linker region. Galectin-12 is predominantly expressed in adipose tissue, but is also detected in macrophages and other leukocytes. Downregulation of galectin-12 in mouse 3T3-L1 cells impairs their differentiation into adipocytes. Conversely, overexpression of galectin-12 in vitro induces cell cycle arrest in G1 and apoptosis. Upregulation of galectin-12 and initiation of G1 cell cycle arrest are associated with driving pre-adipocytes toward terminal differentiation. Galectin-12 deficiency increases insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in obese animals. Galectin-12 inhibits macrophage polarization to the M2 population, enhancing inflammation and decreasing insulin sensitivity in adipocytes. Galectin-12 also affects myeloid differentiation, which is associated with chemotherapy resistance. In addition to highlighting the above-mentioned aspects, this review also discusses the potential clinical applications of modulating the function of galectin-12.
- Cellular plasticity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry