Galectin-3 is a 30 kD protein, a member of the b-galactosidase-binding lectin family. Its function is uncertain, but it has been implicated in processes including cell growth, adhesion, inflammation, mRNA processing2 and apoptosis.

Immunohistochemical expression

It is predominantly expressed in the nucleus2, but also in the cytoplasm and cell membrane of epithelial and immune cells.

Diagnostic utility


1Beesley, M.F. and McLaren, K.M. Cytokeratin 19 and galectin-3 immunohistochemistry in the differential diagnosis of solitary thyroid nodules. Histopathology 2002;41:236-43.

2Mehrotra, P., A. Okpokam, et al. (2004). "Galectin-3 does not reliably distinguish benign from malignant thyroid neoplasms." Histopathology 45(5): 493-500.

This page last revised 12.1.2005.

©SMUHT/PW Bishop