Galectin-3 binds Neisseria meningitidis and increases interaction with phagocytic cells (pages 1657–1675)
Paola Quattroni, Yanwen Li, Davide Lucchesi, Sebastian Lucas, Derek W. Hood, Martin Herrmann, Hans-Joachim Gabius, Christoph M. Tang and Rachel M. Exley
Article first published online: 12 AUG 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1462-5822.2012.01838.x
Galectins are beta-galactoside binding lectins which are implicated in several fundamental biological processes including development, adhesion and modulation of immune responses. In this study, we show that galectin-3 is expressed during meningococcal infection and can bind to the lipopolysaccharide molecules of Neisseria meningitidis, enhancing the adhesion of the pathogen to macrophages. Furthermore, we demonstrate that galectin-3 promotes bacteraemia, suggesting that the meningococcus can exploit this lectin to enhance survival in the host.