The human LGALS3 (galectin-3) gene: determination of the gene structure and functional characterization of the promoter

Arch Biochem Biophys. 1998 Jan 1;349(1):7-20. doi: 10.1006/abbi.1997.0447.


Galectin-3 is a beta-galactoside-specific lectin that is a pre-mRNA splicing factor. Here we report the genomic organization of the human LGALS3 (galectin-3) gene and functional characterization of the promoter. Southern blot analysis of genomic DNA revealed that galectin-3 is coded by a single gene in the human genome. The gene is composed of six exons and five introns, spanning a total of approximately 17 kilobases (kb). Based on primer extension and ribonuclease protection analyses, there are two transcription initiation sites located 52 and 50 nucleotides (nt) upstream of the exon I-intron 1 border, and defined here as +1a and +1b, respectively. The translation start site is in exon II. The ribonucleoprotein-like N-terminal domain, containing the proline-glycine-alanine-tyrosine (PGAY) repeat motif, is found entirely within exon III. The carbohydrate recognition sequence is found entirely within exon V. Genomic fragments encompassing -836 to +141 nt (relative to +1a) have significant promoter activity when linked to the luciferase reporter gene and transiently transfected into HeLa cells or human diploid fibroblasts. Quiescent fibroblasts have low promoter activity but the activity increases 100-fold following serum addition. Serum responsive activation regions in the promoter are located between -513 and -339 nt and between -339 and -229 nt; an additional activation region may be located between -105 and -15 nt. Because galectin-3 is an immediate-early gene whose expression is dependent on the proliferative state of the cell, this study provides the basis for determining the molecular mechanisms of transcriptional regulation in neoplasia or cellular senescence.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Differentiation / genetics*
  • Base Sequence
  • Galectin 3
  • Genome, Human*
  • Humans
  • Lectins / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics*
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Analysis


  • Antigens, Differentiation
  • Galectin 3
  • Lectins

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF031421
  • GENBANK/AF031422
  • GENBANK/AF031423
  • GENBANK/AF031424
  • GENBANK/AF031425