Galectin-3 in Kidney Diseases: From an Old Protein to a New Therapeutic Target

Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Mar 14;23(6):3124. doi: 10.3390/ijms23063124.


Galectin-3 (Gal-3) is a 30KDa lectin implicated in multiple pathophysiology pathways including renal damage and fibrosis. Gal-3 binds β-galactoside through its carbohydrate-recognition domain. From intra-cellular to extra-cellular localization, Gal-3 has multiple roles including transduction signal pathway, cell-to-cell adhesion, cell to extracellular matrix adhesion, and immunological chemoattractant protein. Moreover, Gal-3 has also been linked to kidney disease in both preclinical models and clinical studies. Gal-3 inhibition appears to improve renal disease in several pathological conditions, thus justifying the development of multiple drug inhibitors. This review aims to summarize the latest literature regarding Gal-3 in renal pathophysiology, from its role as a biomarker to its potential as a therapeutic agent.

Keywords: galectin-3; kidney disease; lectins.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Fibrosis
  • Galectin 3* / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Kidney Diseases* / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction


  • Galectin 3