Galectin-3 as a multifunctional protein

Cell Mol Biol Lett. 2004;9(2):305-28.


Galectin-3 is a 31 kDa member of a growing family of beta-galactoside-binding animal lectins. This protein is expressed in a variety of tissues and cell types and is mainly found in the cytoplasm, although, depending on cell type and proliferative state, a significant amount of this lectin can also be detected in the nucleus, on the cell surface or in the extracellular environment. Galectin-3 is secreted from cells by a novel and incompletely understood mechanism that is independent of the classical secretory pathway through the endoplasmic reticulum/Golgi network. Galectin-3 exhibits pleiotropic biological function, playing a key role in many physiological and pathological processes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Carbohydrate Metabolism
  • Carbohydrates / chemistry
  • Disease Progression
  • Galectin 3 / chemistry
  • Galectin 3 / genetics
  • Galectin 3 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Molecular Structure
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Neoplasms / physiopathology
  • Protein Binding
  • Tissue Distribution


  • Carbohydrates
  • Galectin 3
  • Ligands