The oligomeric assembly of galectin-11 is critical for anti-parasitic activity in sheep (Ovis aries)

Dhanasekaran Sakthivel, Sarah Preston, Robin B. Gasser, Tatiana P.Soares da Costa, Julia N. Hernandez, Adam Shahine, M. D. Shakif-Azam, Peter Lock, Jamie Rossjohn, Matthew A. Perugini, Jorge Francisco González, Els Meeusen, David Piedrafita, Travis Beddoe

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Galectins are a family of glycan-binding molecules with a characteristic affinity for ß-D-glycosides that mediate a variety of important cellular functions, including immune and inflammatory responses. Galectin-11 (LGALS-11) has been recently identified as a mediator induced specifically in animals against gastrointestinal nematodes and can interfere with parasite growth and development. Here, we report that at least two natural genetic variants of LGALS-11 exist in sheep, and demonstrate fundamental differences in anti-parasitic activity, correlated with their ability to dimerise. This study improves our understanding of the role of galectins in the host immune and inflammatory responses against parasitic nematodes and provides a basis for genetic studies toward selective breeding of animals for resistance to parasites.

Original languageEnglish
Article number464
Number of pages8
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Aug 2020


  • antimicrobial responses
  • glycobiology
  • parasitology

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