Galectins are a family of animal lectins with carbohydrate-binding activity and specificity for N-acetyllactosamine (LacNac). Galectin-3 (Gal-3) has the ability to bind β-galactosides through characteristic carbohydrate-recognition domains (CRD). Galectin-3 is structurally unique among all galectins as it contains a C-terminal CRD linked to an N-terminal protein-binding domain, being the only chimeric galectin.
Several different functions have been attributed to Gal-3. These include autocrine and paracrine effects and mediates cell adhesion, cell activation and apoptosis, as well as up- or down-regulation in cancer. In addition, Gal-3 plays an important role in immune response and inflammation, while the cytosolic galectin-3 involves in the cell proliferation, differentiation and survival.
Serum levels of Galectin-3 is elevated in Behcet’s Disease, Thyroid related abnormalities, Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular diseases such as stroke and atherosclerotic lesions. Also, several metastatic cancers have been associated with increased level of of Gal-3.
Moreover, circulating level of Gal-3 is higher in obese individuals and is an indication of insulin resistance. The expression of Galectin-3 has a strong correlation with the grade and malignant potential of primary brain tumors.
Human Galectin-3 ELISA Validation
Serum Gal-3 levels were measured in three different groups, women with normal glucose tolerance during pregnancy (NGT), gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) and healthy women (age 20-35,Healthy) respectively.