Galectins in epithelial functions
Viguier M, Advedissian T, Delacour D, Poirier F, Deshayes F.
2017 Jan 11
Galectins are a family of animal lectins comprising 15 members in vertebrates. These proteins are involved in many biological processes including epithelial homeostasis and tumor progression by displaying intracellular and extracellular activities. Hence Galectins can be found either in the cytoplasm or the nucleus, associated with membranes or in the extracellular matrix. Current studies aim at understanding the roles of Galectins in cell-cell and cell-matrix adhesion, cellular polarity and motility. This review discusses recent progress in defining the specificities and mechanisms of action of Galectins as cell regulators in epithelial cells. Physiological, cellular and molecular aspects of Galectin specificities will be treated successively.