Abstract

 

Galectin-3 is a carbohydrate-binding protein and regulates diverse functions, including cell proliferation and differentiation, mRNA splicing, apoptosis induction, immune surveillance and inflammation, cell adhesion, angiogenesis, and cancer-cell metastasis. Galectin-3 is also recommended as a diagnostic or prognostic biomarker of various diseases, including heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer. Galectin-3 exists as a cytosol, is secreted in extracellular spaces on cells, and is also detected in nuclei. It has been found that galectin-3 has different functions in cellular localization: (i) Extracellular galectin-3 mediates cell attachment and detachment. (ii) cytosolic galectin-3 regulates cell survival by blocking the intrinsic apoptotic pathway, and (iii) nuclear galectin-3 supports the ability of the transcriptional factor for target gene expression. In this review, we focused on the role of galectin-3 on translocation from cytosol to nucleus, because it happens in a way independent of carbohydrate recognition and accelerates cancer progression. We also suggested here that intracellular galecin-3 could be a potent therapeutic target in cancer therapy.