Galectin-3 is a nuclear matrix protein which binds RNA

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1995 Dec 5;217(1):292-303. doi: 10.1006/bbrc.1995.2777.


The endogenous galectin-3 is a carbohydrate-binding protein of M(r) approximately 30,000 serving in the cytoplasm and on the cell surface as a receptor for ligands containing poly-N-acetyllactosamine sequences. In addition, galectin-3 has been demonstrated to be associated in the nucleus with ribonucleoprotein complexes and to act as a pre-mRNA splicing factor and to be involved in spliceosome assembly. However, little is known about either its nuclear localization or its ligand(s), respectively. We demonstrate directly here that galectin-3 is associated with the RNA protein skeleton of the nucleus, i.e., the nuclear matrix, and binds with single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) and with RNA. The affinity of binding was determined to be 2.3 microM. Lactose, which inhibits galectin-3 binding to glycoconjugates, failed to inhibit either galectin-3-ssDNA or galectin-3-RNA binding. Galectin-3 exhibited the highest affinity to poly(A) ribonucleotide homopolymers. The results presented here shows that galectin-3 may act as a RNA-binding protein in the nuclear matrix in a non-carbohydrate-dependent manner.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, Differentiation / chemistry
  • Antigens, Differentiation / metabolism*
  • Antigens, Nuclear
  • DNA, Single-Stranded / metabolism
  • Galectin 3
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Molecular Structure
  • Monosaccharides / pharmacology
  • Nuclear Proteins / chemistry
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Poly A / metabolism
  • RNA / metabolism
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / chemistry
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Antigens, Nuclear
  • DNA, Single-Stranded
  • Galectin 3
  • Monosaccharides
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Poly A
  • RNA