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REVIEW: Mammalian Galectins: Structure, Carbohydrate Specificity, and Functions

E. M. Rapoport, O. V. Kurmyshkina, and N. V. Bovin*

Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, ul. Miklukho-Maklaya 16/10, 117997 Moscow, Russia; fax: (495) 330-5592; E-mail: bovin@carbohydrate.ru

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received October 4, 2007; Revision received November 22, 2007
Galectins are a family of beta-galactoside binding lectins, homological by a sequence of the carbohydrate-binding site. In this review literature data about structure and carbohydrate specificity of galectins are discussed. The role of galectins in the regulation of cell adhesion in immune response, inflammation, and cancer progression is considered.
KEY WORDS: apoptosis, galectins, cell adhesion, lactosamine, carbohydrate specificity

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297908040032