Introduction to galectins

Glycoconj J. 2002;19(7-9):433-40. doi: 10.1023/B:GLYC.0000014072.34840.04.


Good evidence suggest roles of galectins in cancer, immunity and inflammation, and development, but a unifying picture of their biological function is lacking. Instead galectins appear to have a particularly diverse, bewildering but intriguing array of activities both inside and outside cells--"clear truths and mysteries are inextricably twined". Fortunately this has not discouraged but rather enthused a large number of good galectin researchers, some of which have contributed to this special issue of Glycoconjugate Journal to provide a personal, critical status of the field. Here we will give a brief introduction to the galectins as a protein family with some comments on nomenclature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Galectins / chemistry*
  • Galectins / classification
  • Galectins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Galectins