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J Biol Chem. 2002 Apr 26;277(17):14916-24. Epub 2002 Feb 11.

Isolation and characterization of a novel eosinophil-specific galectin released into the lungs in response to allergen challenge.

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  • 1Centre for Animal Biotechnology, School of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia.


A novel galectin cDNA (galectin-14) was cloned from ovine eosinophil-rich leukocytes by low stringency reverse transcriptase-PCR and cDNA library screening. Data base searches indicate that this gene encodes a novel prototype galectin that contains one putative carbohydrate recognition domain and exhibits most identity to galectin-9/ecalectin, a potent eosinophil chemoattractant. The sugar binding properties of the recombinant molecule were confirmed by a hemagglutination assay and lactose inhibition. The mRNA and protein of galectin-14 are expressed at high levels in eosinophil-rich cell populations. Flow cytometry and cytospot staining demonstrate that the protein localizes to the cytoplasmic, but not the granular, compartment of eosinophils. In contrast, galectin-14 mRNA and protein were not detected in neutrophils, macrophages, or lymphocytes. Western blot analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid indicates that galectin-14 is released from eosinophils into the lumen of the lungs after challenge with house dust mite allergen. The restricted expression of this novel galectin to eosinophils and its release into the lumen of the lung in a sheep asthma model indicates that it may play an important role in eosinophil function and allergic inflammation.

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