The Galectin family includes 15 protein members with a β-galactoside-binding domain and commonly expressed in several tissue types (Kyosov e Traber, 2012).
Galectin-3 has a molecular weight of 29-35 kDa. It participates in multiple pathophysiological processes including fibrosis (Sygitowicz et al., 2022). Fibrosis could occur in various steps of cardiovascular diseases, cancer and chronic conditions of liver, kidneys and lungs. Etiology is various, nevertheless fibrosis commonly occurs as a consequence of an abnormal tissue repairing process. Here, proinflammatory cells, epithelial cells and fibroblasts promote activation and proliferation of myofibroblasts which produce extracellular matrix (Slack et al., 2020).
Galectin-3 interacts with β-galactoside residues of extracellular matrix proteins and proteins of the cellular surface modulating the profibrotic signal intenGalectin-3 interacts with β-galactoside residues of extracellular matrix proteins and proteins of the cellular surface modulating the profibrotic signal intensity. Interestingly, Galectin-3 participates in several profibrotic cytokine pathways including TGF-β (Transforming Growth Factor beta) (McKinnon et al., 2012).
Galectin-3 displays interesting therapeutic features and reveals to be a target for Glycocore Pharma srl in fibrosis-mediated diseases, with a particular focus for the lung epithelial cells. Galectin-3 modulation may reveal fundamental for the calibration of the inflammatory and fibrotic processes.