REVIEW

Recalibrating Immunity in Cancer and Autoimmune Inflammation by Galectin-1-Driven Regulatory Circuits

  • Camila Agustina Bach IBYME
  • Anabela Cutine IBYME
  • Lorena Laporte IBYME
  • Yamil Damián Mahmoud IBYME
  • Montana Nicolle Manselle Cocco IBYME
  • Mora Massaro IBYME
  • Joaquín Pedro Merlo IBYME
  • Ramiro Martín Perrotta IBYME
  • Nicolás Sarbia IBYME
  • Florencia Veigas IBYME
  • Gabriel Rabinovich IBYME

Abstract

Endogenous lectins play key roles in cell homeostasis by decoding the information encrypted in glycans present on the cell surface or extracellular matrix. Galectins, a family of soluble lectins, have emerged as central regulators of innate and adaptive immune responses. In this article, we review seminal work demonstrating the immunoregulatory roles of Galectin-1 (Gal-1), a proto-type member of the galectin family, and highlight central mechanisms that control its functions in cancer and autoimmune inflammation. Understanding the cellular pathways that control Gal-1 expression and function in tumor and inflammatory microenvironments will set the bases for the design of rational therapies based on positive or negative modulation of this endogenous lectin in cancer and autoimmune diseases.

Author Biographies

Camila Agustina Bach, IBYME

Obtained her degree in Biology (2020) from the University of Buenos Aires and is pursuing a degree to become a Biology Professor. Currently, she is a PhD student at the Laboratory of Immunopathology at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine and a teaching assistant of Immunochemistry at the University of Buenos Aires. Her research focuses on deciphering the role of the Galectin1-Glycan interactions in resistance to cancer immunotherapeutic modalities, particularly in lung and kidney cancer.

Anabela Cutine, IBYME

Obtained her degree in Biology (2015) from the University of Buenos Aires and is currently a PhD student at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine and a teaching assistant of Immunology at Maimonides University. Her research focuses on deciphering the role of B cells, plasma cells and immunoglobulins in intestinal inflammatory diseases from a glycoimmunological perspective.

Lorena Laporte, IBYME

Obtained her degree in Biochemistry (2013) and completed a Postgraduate residency in Clinical Microbiology at the Institute of Infectious Diseases (ANLIS Dr Carlos G Malbran) (2018) and is currently a PhD student from the University of Buenos Aires. Her ongoing research is developed at the Immunopathology Lab at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine (IBYME – CONICET). The main goal of her work is to study the role of galectins and glycans in the crosstalk between skin immune system and the host microbiota.

Yamil Damián Mahmoud, IBYME

He obtained his degree in Biotechnology (2018) and in Bioinformatics (2020), and is currently a PhD student from the University of Buenos Aires. Yamil is conducting his research activities at the Translational Immuno Oncology Lab at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine. His research focuses on the bioinformatic study of biomarkers of response and resistance to immunotherapies and targeted therapies in melanoma using a multidisciplinary approach involving computational biology, genomics, immunology and cancer biology. He aims to identify biomarkers of response to these therapies and the underlying biological mechanisms associated with resistance in order to propose novel therapeutic targets for melanoma patients.

Montana Nicolle Manselle Cocco, IBYME

She obtained her degree in Biological Sciences (2018) and is currently a PhD student from the University of Buenos Aires and is pursuing a degree in Bioinformatics. Her research activities are carried out at the Laboratory of Immunopathology at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine, where she studies the immunomodulatory functions of proto-type galectins and their relevance as a potential immunotherapeutic target in renal cancer. Montana is working at the interface of immunology, cancer biology, immunotherapy and glycobiology using both experimental and bioinformatic approaches. Her main goal is to enhance understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying response to immunotherapies.

Mora Massaro, IBYME

Obtained her degree in Biology (2020) from the National University of Mar del Plata. Mora is currently a PhD student from the University of Buenos Aires, performing her research activities at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine. Her project is focused on the study of molecular and/or genetic signatures associated with the glycobiological axis in intestinal bowel diseases and colitis-associated colorectal cancer. She aims to identify and validate biomarkers that will allow patient stratification and will eventually contribute for the early detection of colitis-associated colorectal cancer in clinical settings.

Joaquín Pedro Merlo, IBYME

He obtained his degree in Biotechnology (2016) and is pursuing a degree in Bioinformatics. Joaquin is currently a PhD student at University of Buenos Aires and is doing his research activities at the Translational Immuno Oncology Lab at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine (IBYME-CONICET). His research is focused on the study of biomarkers of response to immunotherapies in melanoma patients. By means of machine learning algorithms and bioinformatic tools, Joaquin aims to study known biomarkers, and propose new ones, in order to obtain new tools for patient diagnosis.

Ramiro Martín Perrotta, IBYME

He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology (2015) from the National University of Quilmes, and is currently a PhD student at the Immunopathology Lab based at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine (IBYME-CONICET) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He is pursuing a PhD in Biological Chemistry from the Faculty of Exact and Natural Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires (FCEN-UBA), planning to graduate in May-June 2021. He received several awards including the Fulbright- Argentina scholarship for Future Leaders, the AACR scholar in training award and the AAI trainee abstract award. He works at the interface between oncology and immunology focusing on breast cancer early dissemination and metastasis.

Nicolás Sarbia, IBYME

He obtained his degree in Biochemistry (2016) and is currently a PhD student from the University of Buenos Aires. He is finishing his doctoral thesis at the Immunopathology Lab at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine, studying the role of galectinglycan interactions in the interaction between triplenegative breast cancer and B lymphocytes. His work may support the use of galectins as target for breast cancer immunotherapy.

Florencia Veigas, IBYME

She obtained her degree in Biotechnology (2017) and is currently a PhD student from the University of Buenos Aires and a teaching assistant at the Argentine University of Enterprise. Florencia is performing her research activities at the Translational Immuno- Oncology Lab at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine. Her research focuses on the study of the molecular mechanisms underlying resistance to immunotherapy and targeted therapy in melanoma using a multidisciplinary approach involving immunology, cancer biology and bioinformatics. She aims to identify predictive biomarkers of response and propose novel therapeutic strategies to enhance patients’ outcomes and overcome resistance mechanisms.

Gabriel Rabinovich, IBYME

Obtained his degree in Biochemistry (1993) and his PhD in Immunology (1999) from the School of Chemical Sciences at the National University of Córdoba, Argentina. Currently, he is Senior Investigator of CONICET, Head of the Laboratory of Immunopathology at the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine and Professor of Immunology at the School of Exact and Natural Sciences, University of Buenos Aires. He is member of several academies including the US National Academy of Sciences and is visiting professor at international universities. He received several awards including the Argentinean Investigator Award and the Guggenheim, Bunge & Born and Konex Awards.

Published
2020-12-18
Section
Articles