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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Sep 19;1572(2-3):209-31.

Galectinomics: finding themes in complexity.

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Departments of Psychiatry and Anatomy, University of California, San Francisco, LPPI, Box F-0984, 401 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94143-0984, USA.


With the rapid explosion of genomic sequence databases, there has been an equivalent boom in genomics, the use of sequence information to define and compare gene families and their organization across diverse species. Such expansion of the galectin family by "galectinomics" to include many new members is reviewed here. The galectin gene family is evolutionarily ancient with representatives in vertebrates, invertebrates, and even in protists. Although the identification of many novel galectin relatives in widely divergent organisms (including Arabidopsis, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis, Danio, Xenopus, and human) has added significantly to the size and complexity of this intriguing protein family, several common themes arise, which suggest promising new research targets.

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