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Open AccessReview

Role of Human Galectins in Inflammation and Cancers Associated with Endometriosis

1
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, Greenville, SC 29605, USA
2
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Prisma Health, Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, Greenville, SC 29605, USA
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC 27157, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally.
Biomolecules 2020, 10(2), 230; https://doi.org/10.3390/biom10020230
Received: 6 January 2020 / Revised: 31 January 2020 / Accepted: 2 February 2020 / Published: 4 February 2020
Galectins are a family of β-galactoside-binding proteins that contribute to multiple cellular functions, including immune surveillance and apoptosis. Human galectins are also important regulators of inflammation, making them a research target for various inflammatory diseases and tumorigenesis associated with pro-inflammatory conditions. This review focuses on the involvement of human galectins in modulation of inflammation and in the pathophysiology of endometriosis and endometriosis-associated neoplasms. Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease with unknown etiology. Galectins -1, -3 and -9 were found to be overexpressed in ectopic and eutopic endometrium of females with endometriosis compared to those without endometriosis. These findings suggest galectins’ role in the progression on endometriotic lesions and their potential use as diagnostic biomarkers and/or targets for therapeutic approaches. Galectins -1, -3, and -9 have also been implicated in the development of endometriosis-associated neoplasms. Furthermore, galectin-3 has been shown to interact with KRAS protein and contribute to cellular growth, proliferation, inflammation, and the uptake of nutrients in endometriotic lesions and may be involved in the maintenance and propagation of endometriosis. These galectins have been shown to be upregulated in certain forms of cervical, ovarian, endometrial, and colon cancer associated with endometriosis and have become a potential target for anti-cancer therapies.
Keywords: galectin, pathophysiology, endometriosis, inflammation, cancer galectin, pathophysiology, endometriosis, inflammation, cancer
MDPI and ACS Style

Hisrich, B.V.; Young, R.B.; Sansone, A.M.; Bowens, Z.; Green, L.J.; Lessey, B.A.; Blenda, A.V. Role of Human Galectins in Inflammation and Cancers Associated with Endometriosis. Biomolecules 2020, 10, 230.

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