Galectins: matricellular glycan-binding proteins linking cell adhesion, migration, and survival.
ABSTRACT Galectins are a taxonomically widespread family of glycan-binding proteins, defined by at least one conserved carbohydrate-recognition domain with a canonical amino acid sequence and affinity for beta-galactosides. Because of their anti-adhesive as well as pro-adhesive extracellular functions, galectins appear to be a novel class of adhesion-modulating proteins collectively known as matricellular proteins (which include thrombospondin, SPARC, tenascin, hevin, and disintegrins). Accordingly, galectins can display de-adhesive effects when presented as soluble proteins to cells in a strong adhesive state. In this context, the de-adhesive properties of galectins should be considered as physiologically relevant as the proadhesive effects of these glycan-binding proteins. This article focuses on the roles of mammalian galectins in cell adhesion, spreading, and migration, and the crossregulation of these functions. Although careful attention should be paid when examining individual galectin functions due to overlapping distributions, these intriguing glycan-binding proteins offer promising possibilities for the treatment and intervention of a wide variety of pathological processes, including cancer, inflammation, and autoimmunity.
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ABSTRACT: Whether tumours are epithelial or non-epithelial in origin, it is generally accepted that once they reach a certain size all solid tumours are dependent upon a vascular supply to provide nutrients. Accordingly, there is great interest in how the extracellular environment enhances or inhibits vascular growth. In this minireview, we will examine key extracellular components, their changes with ageing, and discuss how these alterations may influence the subsequent development of tumour vasculature in the aged host. Because of the tight correlation between advanced age and development of prostate cancer, we will use prostate cancer as the model throughout this review.British Journal of Cancer 02/2008; 98(2):250-5. DOI:10.1038/sj.bjc.6604144 · 4.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: eLife digest The forces applied to the body during daily activities cause bones to be constantly remodeled, which is essential for keeping them healthy. In most adult organisms, new bone is created at the same rate at which old bone is destroyed. This means that overall bone mass remains the same. But, in diseases such as osteoporosis or bone cancer, bone is destroyed more rapidly than at which new bone is made. This leads to brittle bones that are more likely to fracture. Understanding how to increase the rate of bone renewal might therefore help scientists develop new treatments for bone diseases. Bone is created by cells called osteoblasts and destroyed by other cells called osteoclasts. Both of these types of cells develop from stem cells in the bone marrow. The activity of these cells is controlled by a number of factors, including the matrix of proteins that holds bone together. A group of proteins called galectins are known to act as a bridge between some of the matrix proteins and molecules on the surface of the cells. Vinik et al. took osteoblasts from a mouse skull, grew them in the laboratory, and then exposed them to a galectin protein called galectin-8. This made the osteoblasts release a protein called RANKL, which is known to boost osteoclast activity. When osteoblasts that had been exposed to galectin-8 were grown alongside bone marrow stem cells, more of the stem cells developed into the bone-destroying osteoclasts. Mice that were genetically engineered to produce more galectin-8 than normal mice develop brittle bones, despite also creating new bone at a higher rate than do normal mice. This is because osteoclast activity increases at a greater rate, resulting in an overall loss of bone in these animals. This is similar to what occurs in some individuals with osteoporosis. These experiments therefore suggest that galectin-8 plays an important role in bone remodeling and that it may be a potential target for drugs that treat diseases that weaken bones. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.05914.002eLife Sciences 05/2015; 4. DOI:10.7554/eLife.05914 · 8.52 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The term matricellular proteins describes a family of structurally unrelated extracellular macromolecules that, unlike structural matrix proteins, do not play a primary role in tissue architecture, but are induced following injury and modulate cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. When released to the matrix, matricellular proteins associate with growth factors, cytokines, and other bioactive effectors and bind to cell surface receptors transducing signaling cascades. Matricellular proteins are upregulated in the injured and remodeling heart and play an important role in regulation of inflammatory, reparative, fibrotic and angiogenic pathways. Thrombospondin (TSP)-1, -2, and -4 as well as tenascin-C and -X secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), osteopontin, periostin, and members of the CCN family (including CCN1 and CCN2/connective tissue growth factor) are involved in a variety of cardiac pathophysiological conditions, including myocardial infarction, cardiac hypertrophy and fibrosis, aging-associated myocardial remodeling, myocarditis, diabetic cardiomyopathy, and valvular disease. This review discusses the properties and characteristics of the matricellular proteins and presents our current knowledge on their role in cardiac adaptation and disease. Understanding the role of matricellular proteins in myocardial pathophysiology and identification of the functional domains responsible for their actions may lead to design of peptides with therapeutic potential for patients with heart disease.Physiological Reviews 04/2012; 92(2):635-88. DOI:10.1152/physrev.00008.2011 · 29.04 Impact Factor