Structural basis of multivalent galactose-based dendrimer recognition by human galectin-7

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Galectins are evolutionarily conserved and ubiquitously present animal lectins with a high affinity for β-galactose-containing oligosaccharides. To date, 15 mammalian galectins have been identified. Their involvement in cell–cell and cell–matrix interactions has highlighted their importance in signal transduction and other intracellular processes. Human galectin-7 (hGal-7) is a 15 kDa proto type galectin that forms a dimer in solution and its involvement in the stimulation and development of tumour growth has been reported. Previously, we reported the crystal structure of hGal-7 and its complex with galactose and lactose which provided insight into its molecular recognition and detailed interactions. Here, we present newly obtained high-resolution structural data on carbohydrate-based dendrons in complex with hGal-7. Our crystallographic data reveal how multivalent ligands interact with and form cross-links with these galectin molecules. Understanding how these dendrimeric compounds interact with hGal-7 would help in the design of new tools to investigate the recognition of carbohydrates by lectins.


The atomic coordinates and structure factors for hGal-7–D1 (code 4UW3), hGal7–D2 (codes 4UW4, 4UW5) and hGal-7–D3 (code 4UW6) complexes have been deposited in the Protein Data Bank, Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USA (

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