Galectins in endothelial cell biology and angiogenesis: The basics

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Angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels out of existing vessels, is a complex and tightly regulated process. It is executed by the cells that cover the inner surface of the vasculature, i.e., the endothelial cells. During angiogenesis, these cells adopt different phenotypes, which allows them to proliferate and migrate, and to form tube‐like structures that eventually result in the generation of a functional neovasculature. Multiple internal and external cues control these processes and the galectin protein family was found to be indispensable for proper execution of angiogenesis. Over the last three decades, several members of this glycan‐binding protein family have been linked to endothelial cell functioning and to different steps of the angiogenesis cascade. This review pro-vides a basic overview of our current knowledge regarding galectins in angiogenesis. It covers the main findings with regard to the endothelial expression of galectins and highlights their role in endothelial cell function and biology.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1386
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Extracellular matrix
  • Galectin
  • Gene expression
  • Integrins
  • Microenvironment
  • Sprouting
  • Tube formation
  • VEGF
  • Vasculature

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