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Flores-Ibarra, Andrea; Vertesy, Sabine; Medrano, Francisco J.; Gabius, Hans-Joachim; Romero, Antonio (2018): Crystallization of a human galectin-3 variant with two ordered segments in the shortened N-terminal tail. In: Scientific Reports, Vol. 8, 9835
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Among members of the family of adhesion/growth-regulatory galectins, galectin-3 (Gal-3) bears a unique modular architecture. A N-terminal tail (NT) consisting of the N-terminal segment (NTS) and nine collagen-like repeats is linked to the canonical lectin domain. In contrast to bivalent protoand tandem-repeat-type galectins, Gal-3 is monomeric in solution, capable to self-associate in the presence of bi-to multivalent ligands, and the NTS is involved in cellular compartmentalization. Since no crystallographic information on Gal-3 beyond the lectin domain is available, we used a shortened variant with NTS and repeats VII-IX. This protein crystallized as tetramers with contacts between the lectin domains. The region from Tyr101 (in repeat IX) to Leu114 (in the CRD) formed a hairpin. The NTS extends the canonical beta-sheet of F1-F5 strands with two new beta-strands on the F face. Together, crystallographic and SAXS data reveal a mode of intramolecular structure building involving the highly flexible Gal-3's NT.