The role of galectin-3 in the development of nephropathy
Keywords:galectin-3, nephropathy, review
AbstractThe purpose of this review was to analyse literature on the role of galectin-3 (Gal-3) in the development of nephropathy. We searched for published and unpublished data using Pubmed as the search engine by the keywords: galectin, galectin-3, galectin-3 function, galectin-3 structure, chronic kidney disease, taking into consideration studies conducted in the last 10 years, citation review of relevant primary and review articles, conference abstracts, personal files, and contact with expert informants. The criterion for the selection of articles for the study was based on their close relevance to the topic, thus out of 257 analyzed articles, the findings of the researchers covered in 28 articles were crucial. In this review, we discuss the general characteristics and functions of galectin-3. There are now 15 different galectins, which were characterized and numbered according to their opening order. Gal-3 is a 32–35-kDa multifunctional lectin protein expressed by epithelial, endothelial cells and macrophages. Gal-3 is mainly secreted in the cytoplasm, extracellularly or intranuclearly. The extracellular Gal-3 modulates important interactions between epithelial cells and the extracellular matrix and plays certan role in the embryonic development of kidney ducts. The intracellular Gal-3 is important for cell survival because of its ability to block its own apoptotic pathway, and intracellular Gal-3 promotes cell proliferation. Cell adhesion and proliferation due to Gal-3 can be transformed into pathological processes such as fibrosis and cancer progression. More specifically, we focus on the role of galectin-3 in the onset and development of nephropathies. The analysis of experimental and clinical studies is carried out. Due to its multifunctional character, galectin-3 plays a pivotal role in interstitial fibrosis and progression of chronic kidney disease. Gal-3 can probably not be used as a diagnostic (screening) biomarker for chronic kidney disease due to lack of sensitivity and specificity, but may has the potential to predict progressive renal dysfunction.
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