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Eur J Immunol. 1998 Aug;28(8):2311-9.

Beta-galactoside-binding protein secreted by activated T cells inhibits antigen-induced proliferation of T cells.

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Institute for Medical Microbiology and Hygiene, Department of Immunology, University of Freiburg, Germany.


We have used mRNA differential display PCR to search for genes induced in activated T cells and have found the LGALS1 (lectin, galactoside-binding, soluble) gene to be strongly up-regulated in effector T cells. The protein coded by the LGALS1 gene is a beta-galactoside-binding protein (betaGBP), which is released by cells as a monomeric negative growth factor but which can also associate into homodimers (galectin-1) with lectin properties. Northern blot analysis revealed that ex vivo isolated CD8+ effector T cells induced by a viral infection expressed high amounts of LGALS1 mRNA, whereas LGALS1 expression was almost absent in resting CD8+ T cells. LGALS1 expression could be induced in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells upon activation with the cognate peptide antigen and high levels of LGALS1 expression were found in concanavalin A-activated T cells but not in lipopolysaccharide-activated B cells. Gel filtration and Western blot analysis revealed that only monomeric betaGBP was released by activated CD8+ T cells and in vitro experiments further showed that recombinant betaGBP was able to inhibit antigen-induced proliferation of naive and antigen-experienced CD8+ T cells. Thus, these data indicate a role of betaGBP as an autocrine negative growth factor for CD8+ T cells.

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