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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2009 Jun;7(6):424-38. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2146.

Roles of galectins in infection.

Author information

1
University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute, Center of Marine Biotechnology, Columbus Center, Baltimore, 21202, USA. vasta@umbi.umd.edu

Abstract

Galectins, which were first characterized in the mid-1970s, were assigned a role in the recognition of endogenous ('self') carbohydrate ligands in embryogenesis, development and immune regulation. Recently, however, galectins have been shown to bind glycans on the surface of potentially pathogenic microorganisms, and function as recognition and effector factors in innate immunity. Some parasites subvert the recognition roles of the vector or host galectins to ensure successful attachment or invasion. This Review discusses the role of galectins in microbial infection, with particular emphasis on adaptations of pathogens to evasion or subversion of host galectin-mediated immune responses.

PMID:
19444247
PMCID:
PMC3759161
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro2146
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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