Galectin-3 regulation of wound healing and fibrotic processes: insights for chronic skin wound therapeutics
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A member of the lectin family, galectin-3 is a 250 amino-acid protein that contains a C-terminus carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) that recognizes β-galactosides. Considered to have certain common properties associated with matricellular proteins, galectin-3 is expressed in the dermis and epidermis in healthy skin and is upregulated in skin healing, peaking at day 1 post wounding in mice. Galectin-3 has been implicated in several processes central to the wound healing response, specifically in the regulation of inflammation, macrophage polarization, angiogenesis, fibroblast to myofibroblast transition and re-epithelialization. However, it appears that many of the effects of Galectin-3 are highly tissue specific and context dependent. Genetic deletion of galectin-3 shows different effects in skin compared to lung, heart, and kidney remodeling. In this review, we will compare galectin-3 functions in these tissues. Furthermore, we will discuss, based on its identified regulation of cell processes, whether in an exogenous form, galectin-3 could represent a novel therapeutic for impaired skin healing.
KeywordsGalectin-3 Matricellular protein Skin healing Inflammation Re-epithelialization
This work was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Operating grant RN247506) to D. W. Hamilton.
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