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Human Galectin-3 Selective and High Affinity Inhibitors. Present State and Future Perspectives

[ Vol. 20 , Issue. 24 ]


R. Tellez-Sanz, L. Garcia-Fuentes and A. Vargas-Berenguel   Pages 2979 - 2990 ( 12 )


Over the last decade an increasing number of studies have been published reporting on the inhibitory potency or selectivity that several types of ligands show against human galectin-3 (hGal-3). The reason for this interest lies in the many important roles galectins play both in intra and extra-cellular functions. Among galectins, galectin-3 stands out because it is the only known member of its subfamily in mammals, is small and monomeric but capable of aggregating, and is known to be involved in a large number of disease processes, from cancer to heart failure. These characteristics and roles make hGal-3 an ideal target for drugs. Since it binds β-galactosides, like the rest of the galectin family of proteins, the search and design of potent and at the same time selective inhibitors for it is not an easy task. Herein we discuss the chemical features of the most potent inhibitors described so far, as well as the structural basis of their exhibited selectivity, in order to shed light on the rational design of drugs against this target.


Lectin, galectin-3, inhibitor, selectivity, galactose-specific receptor.


, , Department of Chemistry and Physics, University of Almeria, Spain.

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