Galectins control cell behavior by acting on different signaling pathways. Most of the biological
activities ascribed to these molecules rely upon recognition of extracellular glycoconjugates and establishment
of multivalente interactions, which trigger adaptive biological responses. However, galectins are also detected
within the cell in different compartments, where their regulatory functions still remain poorly understood. A
deeper understanding of the entire galectin signalosome and its impact in cell behavior is therefore essential in
order to delineate new strategies to specifically manipulate both galectin expression and function. This review
summarizes our current knowledge of the signaling pathways activated by galectins, their glycan dependence
and the cellular compartment where they become activated and are biologically relevant.
Keywords: Apoptosis, cell adherence, galectins, immune regulation, oncogenesis, signaling pathways.
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