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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19(1), 176;

Galectin-12 in Cellular Differentiation, Apoptosis and Polarization

School of Chinese Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
Department of Biotechnology, Asia University, Taichung 41354, Taiwan
Department of Gynecology, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
Research Center for Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture, China Medical University, Taichung 40402, Taiwan
Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan
Department of Dermatology, University of California-Davis, School of Medicine, Sacramento, CA 95816, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 November 2017 / Revised: 24 December 2017 / Accepted: 3 January 2018 / Published: 7 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Galectins in Cancer and Translational Medicine)
Full-Text   |   PDF [889 KB, uploaded 7 January 2018]   |  


Galectin-12 is a member of a family of mammalian lectins characterized by their affinity for β-galactosides and consensus amino acid sequences. The protein structure consists of a single polypeptide chain containing two carbohydrate-recognition domains joined by a linker region. Galectin-12 is predominantly expressed in adipose tissue, but is also detected in macrophages and other leukocytes. Downregulation of galectin-12 in mouse 3T3-L1 cells impairs their differentiation into adipocytes. Conversely, overexpression of galectin-12 in vitro induces cell cycle arrest in G1 and apoptosis. Upregulation of galectin-12 and initiation of G1 cell cycle arrest are associated with driving pre-adipocytes toward terminal differentiation. Galectin-12 deficiency increases insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance in obese animals. Galectin-12 inhibits macrophage polarization to the M2 population, enhancing inflammation and decreasing insulin sensitivity in adipocytes. Galectin-12 also affects myeloid differentiation, which is associated with chemotherapy resistance. In addition to highlighting the above-mentioned aspects, this review also discusses the potential clinical applications of modulating the function of galectin-12. View Full-Text
Keywords: galectin-12; differentiation; adipogenesis; cellular plasticity galectin-12; differentiation; adipogenesis; cellular plasticity

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Wan, L.; Yang, R.-Y.; Liu, F.-T. Galectin-12 in Cellular Differentiation, Apoptosis and Polarization. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2018, 19, 176.

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