Galectins in cell growth and apoptosis

R. Y. Yang, Fu-Tong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


Fourteen members of the galectin family, proteins with conserved carbohydrate-recognition domains that bind β-galactoside, have been cloned and more are expected to be discovered in the near future. Many aspects of galectin biology have been thoroughly explored, and functional studies have implicated these proteins in cell growth, differentiation and apoptosis, in addition to cell adhesion, chemoattraction and cell migration. In some cases a galectin can either promote or suppress cell growth, depending on the cell types and doses used. Galectin-3 is the only member known so far to inhibit apoptosis, while galectin-1, -7 and -9 promote this cellular process. Galectins can act either extracellularly or intracellularly to exert effects on cell growth and apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2003


  • Animal lectins
  • Apoptosis
  • Cell cycle
  • Cell growth
  • Galectins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Cell Biology


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