Endogenous galectins and effect of galectin hapten inhibitors on the differentiation of the chick mesonephros.
Galectins are galactoside-binding lectins. In the mesonephros of the chick embryo, the 16-kDa galectin is abundant in the glomerular and tubular basement membranes where it colocalizes with fibronectin and laminin. To test whether galectin-glycoprotein interactions could play a role in mesonephric development, the effects of the galectin hapten inhibitors thiodigalactoside (TDG) and lactose on the differentiation of the cultured mesonephros were investigated. When compared to control saccharide-free or maltose-treated cultures, mesonephroi cultured in the presence of TDG and lactose exhibited defects in tissue organization. These included a distorted tubule shape, pseudo-stratification of the tubular epithelium, and detachment of glomerular podocytes from the basement membrane. The presence of molecular differentiation markers in the developing mesonephros was investigated. In vivo, expression of the epithelial-specific cell adhesion molecule E-cadherin is restricted to differentiated tubular epithelial cells, whereas the intermediate filament protein vimentin is present in mesonephrogenic mesenchyme and is undetectable in tubular epithelial cells. In mesonephroi cultured in the absence of sugars or in the presence of maltose, the expression pattern of these two marker molecules resembles that found in the mesonephros in vivo. In contrast, in the mesonephroi cultured in the presence of TDG and lactose, the epithelial tubular cells expressing E-cadherin also express vimentin. Re-expression of vimentin in the tubular epithelial cells could indicate a partial reversal to a mesenchymal phenotype. Results suggest that galectin-glycoprotein interactions in the basement membrane are important in the maintenance of the renal epithelial phenotype. Dev Dyn 1999;215:248-263. (+info)
Expression of galectin-7 during epithelial development coincides with the onset of stratification.
Galectin-7 is a 14 KDa member of the galectin family that we have cloned from human, rat and mouse. Our previous studies have shown that in the adult, galectin-7 is expressed in all cell layers of epidermis and of other stratified epithelia such asthe cornea and the lining of the oesophagus. This suggested that galectin-7 expression might be induced at a particular stage in the embryonic development of stratified epithelia. In the present study we have investigated this hypothesis by in situ hybridization of galectin-7 mRNA in mouse embryos. Starting from E13.5, weak expression of galectin-7 was detected in bilayered ectoderm, and stronger expression was found in areas of embryonic epidermis where stratification was more advanced. Galectin-7 expression was maintained in all living layers after epidermal development was completed. Galectin-7 was also strongly and specifically expressed in stratified regions of ectodermally-derived non-epidermal epithelia such as the lining of the buccal cavity, the oesophagus and the ano-rectal region. In contrast, no expression of galectin-7 was found in epithelia derived from endoderm, such as lining of the intestine, kidney and lung. Our results demonstrate that galectin-7 is expressed in all stratified epithelia examined so far, and that the onset of its expression coincides with the first visible signs of stratification. These results establish galectin-7 as the first region-independent marker of epithelial stratification. (+info)
Cloning of a galactose-binding lectin from the venom of Trimeresurus stejnegeri.
A galactose-binding lectin isolated from the venom of Trimeresurus stejnegeri is a homodimer C-type lectin. The cloned cDNA encoding the monomer of Trimeresurus stejnegeri lectin (TSL) was sequenced and found to contain a 5'-end non-coding region, a sequence which encodes 135 amino acids, including a typical 23 amino acid signal peptide followed by the mature protein sequence, a 3'-end non-coding region, a polyadenylation signal, and a poly(A) region. To completely characterize the deduced amino acid sequence, on-line HPLC-MS and tandem MS were used to analyse the intact monomer and its proteolytic peptides. A modified peptide fragment was also putatively identified by HPLC-MS analysis. The deduced amino acid sequence was found to contain a carbohydrate-recognition domain homologous with those of some known C-type animal lectins. Thus TSL belongs to group VII of the C-type animal lectins as classified by Drickamer [(1993) Prog. Nucleic Acid Res. Mol. Biol. 45, 207-232]. At present, a number of C-type lectins have been purified from snake venom, but most of them have been characterized only at the protein level. To our knowledge, this is the first known cDNA sequence of a true C-type lectin from snake venom. (+info)
Galectins: an evolutionarily conserved family of animal lectins with multifunctional properties; a trip from the gene to clinical therapy.
Galectins constitute a family of evolutionarily conserved animal lectins, which are defined by their affinity for poly-N-acetyllactosamine-enriched glycoconjugates and sequence similarities in the carbohydrate recognition domain. During the past decade, attempts to dissect the functional role for galectins in vivo have been unsuccessful in comparison to the overwhelming information reached at the biochemical and molecular levels. The present review deals with the latest advances in galectin research and is aimed at validating the functional significance of these carbohydrate-binding proteins. Novel implications of galectins in cell adhesion, cell growth regulation, immunomodulation, apoptosis, inflammation, embryogenesis, metastasis and pre-mRNA splicing will be particularly discussed in a trip from the gene to the clinical therapy. Elucidation of the molecular mechanisms involved in galectin functions will certainly open new avenues not only in biomedical research, but also at the level of disease diagnosis and clinical intervention, attempting to delineate new therapeutic strategies in autoimmune diseases, inflammatory processes, allergic reactions and tumor spreading. (+info)
Accelerated evolution in the protein-coding region of galectin cDNAs, congerin I and congerin II, from skin mucus of conger eel (Conger myriaster).
Two cDNAs encoding galectins named congerins I and II from the skin mucus of conger eel (Conger myriaster) were isolated and sequenced. Comparison of the nucleotide sequences of congerins I and II showed that the sequence similarities of the 5' and 3' untranslated regions (86 and 88%, respectively) were much higher than those of the protein-coding region (73%). The numbers of nucleotide substitutions per site (KN) for the untranslated regions are smaller than the numbers of nucleotide substitutions per synonymous site (KS) for the protein coding region. Furthermore, nonsynonymous nucleotide substitutions have accelerated more frequently than synonymous nucleotide substitutions in the protein coding region (KA/KS = 2.57). These results suggest that accelerated substitutions have occurred in the protein-coding regions of galectin genes to generate diverse galectins with different molecular properties. Northern blot analysis showed that both congerins were expressed not only in the skin tissues but also in the stomach of conger eel. (+info)
Galectin-7 overexpression is associated with the apoptotic process in UVB-induced sunburn keratinocytes.
Galectin-7 is a beta-galactoside binding protein specifically expressed in stratified epithelia and notably in epidermis, but barely detectable in epidermal tumors and absent from squamous carcinoma cell lines. Galectin-7 gene is an early transcriptional target of the tumor suppressor protein P53 [Polyak, K., Xia, Y., Zweier, J., Kinzler, K. & Vogelstein, B. (1997) Nature (London) 389, 300-305]. Because p53 transcriptional activity is increased by genotoxic stresses we have examined the possible effects of ultraviolet radiations (UVB) on galectin-7 expression in epidermal keratinocytes. The amounts of galectin-7 mRNA and protein are increased rapidly after UVB irradiation of epidermal keratinocytes. The increase of galectin-7 is parallel to P53 stabilization. UVB irradiation of skin reconstructed in vitro and of human skin ex vivo demonstrates that galectin-7 overexpression is associated with sunburn/apoptotic keratinocytes. Transfection of a galectin-7 expression vector results in a significant increase in terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated UTP end labeling-positive keratinocytes. The present findings demonstrate a keratinocyte-specific protein involved in the UV-induced apoptosis, an essential process in the maintenance of epidermal homeostasis. (+info)
High-resolution structure of the conger eel galectin, congerin I, in lactose-liganded and ligand-free forms: emergence of a new structure class by accelerated evolution.
BACKGROUND: Congerin I is a member of the galectin (animal beta-galactoside-binding lectin) family and is found in the skin mucus of conger eel. The galectin family proteins perform a variety of biological activities. Because of its histological localization and activity against marine bacteria and starfish embryos, congerin I is thought to take part in the eels' biological defense system against parasites. RESULTS: The crystal structure of congerin I has been determined in both lactose-liganded and ligand-free forms to 1. 5 A and 1.6 A resolution, respectively. The protein is a homodimer of 15 kDa subunits. Congerin I has a beta-sheet topology that is markedly different from those of known relatives. One of the beta-strands is exchanged between two identical subunits. This strand swap might increase the dimer stability. Of the known galectin complexes, congerin I forms the most extensive interaction with lactose molecules. Most of these interactions are substituted by similar interactions with water molecules, including a pi-electron hydrogen bond, in the ligand-free form. This observation indicates an increased affinity of congerin I for the ligand. CONCLUSIONS: The genes for congerin I and an isoform, congerin II, are known to have evolved under positive selection pressure. The strand swap and the modification in the carbohydrate-binding site might enhance the cross-linking activity, and should be the most apparent consequence of positive selection. The protein has been adapted to functioning in skin mucus that is in direct contact with surrounding environments by an enhancement in cross-linking activity. The structure of congerin I demonstrates the emergence of a new structure class by accelerated evolution under selection pressure. (+info)
Immunocytochemical study of the distribution of a 16-kDa galectin in the chicken retina.
PURPOSE: To compare the distribution of a developmentally regulated 16-kDa galectin in the chicken retina at two different developmental stages: embryonic day 13 (ED13) and postnatal day 10 (PD10) retinas, by immunocytochemical analysis using light and transmission electron microscopy. METHODS: Semi-thin and thin sections from ED13 and PD10 retinas were incubated with the IgG fraction purified from a rabbit antiserum raised against the 16-kDa chicken galectin. After incubation with colloidal gold particle-labeled goat anti-rabbit IgGs, tissue sections were analyzed by light and transmission electron microscopy. To improve the observation by light microscopy, semi-thin immunostained sections were intensified by silver enhancement. RESULTS: In ED13 retinas a specific galectin labeling was detected in the region corresponding to the outer limiting membrane by light microscopy. This labeling seemed to be associated with the apical villi of Muller glial cells and their specialized junctions, as judged by transmission electron microscopy. In PD10 retinas, the more relevant finding revealed by light microscopy was the detection of a widespread immunostaining at the level of all retinal layers. The ultrastructural analysis indicated that the galectin labeling was detected at the cytoplasmic and nuclear compartments of Muller cells throughout the different retinal layers. Moreover, the labeling was detected in the inner limiting membrane in structures that resemble the end feet of Muller cells. The apical villi, and the specialized junctions of these glial cells, appeared more strongly stained in PD10 retinas than in ED13 retinas. Finally, highly intense labeling in a group of mitochondria localized in the inner segments of cone cells was observed. CONCLUSIONS: The present study clearly supports the idea that the subcellular distribution of the 16-kDa galectin changes during the development of the chicken retina. Morphologic changes associated with developmentally regulated expression and subcellular compartmentalization of the retinal galectin suggest that this lectin may be involved in the modulation of several processes in the visual system. Its presence in the apical villi of Miller cells may be related by modulatory functions between retina and pigment epithelium, but its presence in the cytoplasm and nucleus of these glial cells suggests a potential immunomodulatory role and its involvement in different metabolic processes between Muller and the other retinal cells. Finally, although the presence of galectins inside mitochondria has not been described before, this localization gives rise to the idea that this lectin may be involved in the modulation of mitochondrial processes. (+info)