Galectin-3 overexpression protects from cell damage and death by influencing mitochondrial homeostasis

FEBS Lett. 2000 May 19;473(3):311-5. doi: 10.1016/s0014-5793(00)01547-7.


Galectins are a family of proteins involved in several cell processes, including their survival and death. Galectin-3 has in particular been described as an anti-apoptotic molecule entangled with a number of subcellular activities including anoikis resistance. In this work we partially address the mechanisms underlying this activity pointing at two key factors in injury progression: the alteration of mitochondrial membrane potential and the formation of reactive oxygen species. Overexpression of galectin-3 appears in fact to exert a protective effect towards both these events. On the basis of these data, we propose a reappraisal of the role of galectin-3 as a regulator of mitochondrial homeostasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Differentiation / metabolism*
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Female
  • Galectin 3
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Intracellular Membranes / physiology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Potentials
  • Microscopy, Electron, Scanning
  • Mitochondria / physiology*
  • Mitochondria / ultrastructure
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology
  • Vitamin K / pharmacology


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Galectin 3
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Vitamin K