Galectins are a family of animal carbohydrate binding proteins; the name is from their description as ß-galactoside-specific lectins. They have been strongly implicated in inflammation and cancer and may be useful as targets for the development of new anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer therapies.

Galectins occur at high concentration in a limited range of cell types, different for each galectin. Galectins bind to sugar molecules on the surface of cells. All galectins bind lactose and other ß-galactosides, but they differ in their affinity for more complex saccharides.1 The galectins are defined by their structural similarities in their carbohydrate recognition domains (CRD) and by their affinity for ß-galactosides; fourteen human members have been reported so far.2 The galectins have been classified into three classes: prototype, chimera, and tandemrepeat galectins. The prototype galectins-1, -2, -5, -7, -10, -11, -13 and -14, all contain one CRD and are either monomers or noncovalent homodimers. The only chimera galectin currently identified (galectin-3) contains one CRD connected to a non-lectin domain. The tandemrepeat galectins-4, -6, -8, -9, and -12 consist of two CRDs joined by a linker peptide.

Extracellular galectins crosslink cell-surface and extracellular glycoproteins and may thereby modulate cell adhesion and induce intracellular signals. Galectins may also bind intracellular non-carbohydrate ligands and have intracellular regulatory roles in processes such as RNA splicing, apoptosis, and, suggested most recently, the cell cycle.1

1. Leffler, H., Results Probl. Cell Differ. 33:57-83 (2001).
2. Cooper, D.N., Biochim. Biophys. Acta, 1572, 209-231 (2002).
For more information browse our online Glycobiology Analysis Manual.

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G7420 Galectin-1 human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥95% (SDS-PAGE), lyophilized powder
G5170 Galectin-3 human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, lyophilized powder
SRP4647 Galectin-7 human recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC)
G3670 Galectin-8 from rat recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥90% (SDS-PAGE), buffered aqueous glycerol solution