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. 1998 Dec 15;245(2):294-302.
doi: 10.1006/excr.1998.4253.

Galectin-3 Stimulates Cell Proliferation


Galectin-3 Stimulates Cell Proliferation

H Inohara et al. Exp Cell Res. .


Galectin-3, a beta-galactoside-binding protein, has been shown to be involved in multiple biological processes through interaction with its complementary glycoconjugates. Here we provide the first evidence of galectin-3 as a mitogen. Incubation of quiescent cultures of normal human lung fibroblast IMR-90 cells with recombinant galectin-3 (rgalectin-3) stimulated DNA synthesis as well as cell proliferation in a dose-dependent manner. This mitogenic activity was dependent on the lectin property of galectin-3, as it could be significantly inhibited by lactose, a disaccharide competitive for carbohydrate-binding by galectin-3. Chemical cross-linking and affinity-purification experiments identified binding of rgalectin-3 to cell surface glycoproteins, which were not recognized by antibodies directed against lysosome-associated membrane proteins (LAMPs), putative cellular ligands for galectin-3. Moreover, pulse-chase analysis revealed no secretion of galectin-3 by IMR-90 cells. These results indicate that galectin-3 is a mitogen capable of stimulating fibroblast cell proliferation in a paracrine fashion through interaction with cell surface glycoconjugates different from LAMPs and suggest a possible involvement of galectin-3 in tissue remodeling.

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