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.
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