LGALS7, also known as Galectin-7, is a member of the galectins family. The galectins are a family of beta-galactoside-binding proteins. There are at least 14 identified members in this family. Galectins share similarities in the CRD (the carbohydrate recognition domain). They are synthesized as cytosolic proteins. Though localized principally in the cytoplasm and lacking a classical signal peptide, galectins can also be stimulated to secretion by non-classical pathways or alternatively targeted to the nucleus. Galectins are implicated in modulating cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions. LGALS7 contains 1 galectin domain and is mainly expressed in stratified squamous epithelium. Galectin-7 could be involved in cell-cell and/or cell-matrix interactions necessary for normal growth control. LGALS7 is a pro-apoptotic protein that functions intracellularly upstream of JNK activation and cytochrome c release.
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