Novel role for galectin-1 in T-cells under physiological and pathological conditions

Magdolna Deák, Ákos Hornung, Julianna Novák, Dmytro Demydenko, Eniko Szabó, Ágnes Czibula, Roberta Fajka-Boja, Éva Kriston-Pál, Éva Monostori, László Kovács

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Secreted, extracellular galectin-1 (exGal-1) but not intracellular Gal-1 (inGal-1) has been described as a strong immunosuppressive protein due to its major activity of inducing apoptosis of activated T-cells. It has previously been reported that T-cells express Gal-1 upon activation, however its participation in T-cell functions has remained largely elusive. To determine function of Gal-1 expressed by activated T-cells we have carried out a series of experiments. We have shown that Gal-1, expressed in Gal-1-transgenic Jurkat cells or in activated T-cells, remained intracellularly indicating that Gal-1-induced T-cell death was not a result of an autocrine effect of the de novo expressed Gal-1. Rather, a particular consequence of the inGal-1 expression was that T-cells became more sensitive to exGal-1 added either as a soluble protein or bound to the surface of a Gal-1-secreting effector cell. This was also verified when the susceptibility of activated T-cells from wild type or Gal-1 knockout mice to Gal-1-induced apoptosis were compared. Murine T-cells expressing Gal-1 were more sensitive to the cytotoxicity of the exGal-1 than their Gal-1 knockout counterparts. We also conducted a study with activated T-cells from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a disease in which dysregulated T-cell apoptosis has been well described. SLE T-cells expressed lower amounts of Gal-1 than healthy T-cells and were less sensitive to exGal-1. These results suggested a novel role of inGal-1 in T-cells as a regulator of T-cell response to exGal-1, and its likely contribution to the mechanism in T-cell apoptosis deficiency in lupus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)483-489
Number of pages7
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Activated T-cells
  • Apoptosis
  • Intracellular galectin-1
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology

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    Deák, M., Hornung, Á., Novák, J., Demydenko, D., Szabó, E., Czibula, Á., Fajka-Boja, R., Kriston-Pál, É., Monostori, É., & Kovács, L. (2015). Novel role for galectin-1 in T-cells under physiological and pathological conditions. Immunobiology, 220(4), 483-489.