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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(11), 2481;

Role of Galectin-3 in Bone Cell Differentiation, Bone Pathophysiology and Vascular Osteogenesis

Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine, La Sapienza University, 00185 Rome, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2017 / Revised: 17 November 2017 / Accepted: 19 November 2017 / Published: 21 November 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Galectins in Cancer and Translational Medicine)
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Galectin-3 is expressed in various tissues, including the bone, where it is considered a marker of chondrogenic and osteogenic cell lineages. Galectin-3 protein was found to be increased in the differentiated chondrocytes of the metaphyseal plate cartilage, where it favors chondrocyte survival and cartilage matrix mineralization. It was also shown to be highly expressed in differentiating osteoblasts and osteoclasts, in concomitance with expression of osteogenic markers and Runt-related transcription factor 2 and with the appearance of a mature phenotype. Galectin-3 is expressed also by osteocytes, though its function in these cells has not been fully elucidated. The effects of galectin-3 on bone cells were also investigated in galectin-3 null mice, further supporting its role in all stages of bone biology, from development to remodeling. Galectin-3 was also shown to act as a receptor for advanced glycation endproducts, which have been implicated in age-dependent and diabetes-associated bone fragility. Moreover, its regulatory role in inflammatory bone and joint disorders entitles galectin-3 as a possible therapeutic target. Finally, galectin-3 capacity to commit mesenchymal stem cells to the osteoblastic lineage and to favor transdifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells into an osteoblast-like phenotype open a new area of interest in bone and vascular pathologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: galectin-3; osteoblasts; osteoclasts; bone remodeling; vascular osteogenesis galectin-3; osteoblasts; osteoclasts; bone remodeling; vascular osteogenesis

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Iacobini, C.; Fantauzzi, C.B.; Pugliese, G.; Menini, S. Role of Galectin-3 in Bone Cell Differentiation, Bone Pathophysiology and Vascular Osteogenesis. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2481.

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