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J Biol Chem. 1997 Mar 7;272(10):6416-22.

Molecular definition of a novel human galectin which is immunogenic in patients with Hodgkin's disease.

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  • 1Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik, Innere Medizin I, Universitätskliniken des Saarlandes, D-66421 Homburg, Federal Republic of Germany.


Using autologous serum for the immunoscreening of a cDNA expression library derived from tissue involved by Hodgkin's disease, a new 36-kDa protein with the characteristics of galectins (S-type lectins) was detected. Sequence analysis of the cDNA clone HOM-HD-21 revealed two homologous motifs known as lectin domains with galactoside binding capacity. The two domains are linked by a stretch of about 30 amino acid residues and share a sequence homology of 39%. While the N-terminal lectin domain shows merely moderate homologies with known galectins, the C-terminal lectin domain is highly homologous to rat galectin-5 with an amino acid sequence identity of 70%. We ruled out mutations of the tumor-derived transcript by sequence comparison with the respective cDNA cloned from normal peripheral blood leukocytes. Recombinant protein expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells was purified from lysates by lactose and galactose affinity chromatography, proving the galactoside binding capacity of this new galectin. Northern blot analysis revealed an expression spectrum restricted to peripheral blood leukocytes and lymphatic tissues. In accordance with the nomenclature of known galectins, we suggest to designate this novel galactoside binding protein galectin-9.

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