Galectin-9 as a biomarker of disease severity

Cell Immunol. 2021 Mar:361:104287. doi: 10.1016/j.cellimm.2021.104287. Epub 2021 Jan 14.


Galectin-9 (Gal-9) is a β-galactoside binding lectin known for its immunomodulatory role in various microbial infections. Gal-9 is expressed in all organ systems and localized in the nucleus, cell surface, cytoplasm and the extracellular matrix. It mediates host-pathogen interactions and regulates cell signalling via binding to its receptors. Gal-9 is involved in many physiological functions such as cell growth, differentiation, adhesion, communication and death. However, recent studies have emphasized on the elevated levels of Gal-9 in autoimmune disorders, viral infections, parasitic invasion, cancer, acute liver failure, atopic dermatitis, chronic kidney disease, type-2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis and benign infertility-related gynecological disorders. In this paper we have reviewed the potential of Gal-9 as a reliable, sensitive and non-invasive biomarker of disease severity. Tracking changes in Gal-9 levels and its implementation as a biomarker in clinical practice will be an important tool to monitor disease activity and facilitate personalized treatment decisions.

Keywords: Biomarkers; Disease severity; Galectin-9; Immunomodulation.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Galectins / analysis*
  • Galectins / genetics
  • Galectins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Immunomodulation / immunology*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Signal Transduction


  • Biomarkers
  • Galectins
  • LGALS9 protein, human