, Volume 19, Issue 7-9, pp 441-449

Galectin genes: Regulation of expression

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In this review we have summarized the more recent studies on the expression of mammalian galectins. One interesting observation that can be made is that in most of microarrays and/or differential display analysis performed in recent years one or more galectins have been picked up. From a critical evaluation of the pertinent studies the main conclusion that can be drawn is that, although it is not yet clear whether the 14 galectins identified so far have functions in common, a striking common feature of all galectins is the strong modulation of their expression during development, differentiation stages and under different physiological or pathological conditions. This suggests that the expression of different galectins is finely tuned and possibly coordinated. In spite of these observations it is rather unexpected that very few studies have been performed on the molecular mechanisms governing the activity of galectin genes. Published in 2004.