Galectins and their ligands: Amplifiers, silencers or tuners of the inflammatory response?

Gabriel A. Rabinovich, Linda G. Baum, Nicola Tinari, Roberto Paganelli, Clara Natoli, Fu-Tong Liu, Stefano Iacobelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

464 Scopus citations

Abstract

Recent evidence has implicated galectins and their ligands as master regulators of immune cell homeostasis. Whereas some members of this family, such as galectin-3, behave as amplifiers of the inflammatory cascade, others, such as galectin-1, trigger homeostatic signals to shut off T-cell effector functions. These carbohydrate-binding proteins, identified by shared consensus amino acid sequences and affinity for β-galactoside-containing sugars, participate in the homeostasis of the inflammatory response, either by regulating cell survival and signaling, influencing cell growth and chemotaxis, interfering with cytokine secretion, mediating cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions or influencing tumor progression and metastasis. The current wealth of new information promises a future scenario in which individual members of the galectin family or their ligands will be used as powerful anti-inflammatory mediators and selective modulators of the immune response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-320
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Immunology
Volume23
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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