DEC 08, 2020 11:38 AM PST

The Protein Galectin-1 Could Act as a Prognostic Marker for Coronary Artery Disease

WRITTEN BY: Jasper Cantrell

The complexity of life works in many ways. Proteins, the primary things doing work in cells, can be modified after being synthesized. You might be able to compare it to aftermarket parts on cars, except a little less cool. Only a little, though.

After translation (the final step of protein synthesis), a protein can undergo many modifications. One modification often done is called glycosylation. This is when sugar molecules are added to the protein's surface, and this modification can be critical for the proper function of the protein.

An interesting protein that binds to these glycosylation modifications is called galectin-1. This protein is known to regulate the inflammatory response, as well as other immune responses.  Interestingly, galectin-1 deficiency has been linked to more severe cardiac inflammation post-heart attack. This relationship makes galectin-1 a target for cardiovascular disease researchers, as it may be a source of prognostic or therapeutic value.

In a new study out of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital in Taiwan, a team of scientists wanted to know if galectin-1 levels could provide prognostic information for chronic coronary artery disease patients. They examined it's levels in over 800 coronary artery disease patients alongside a standard prognostic molecule hs-CRP to see how they compared.

The study used 834 patients who had or were expected to have coronary artery disease. They used commercial tests for measuring both hs-CRP and galectin-1 levels in each patient. The patient's status was followed throughout the study for instances of adverse cardiological events (i.e., heart attacks, heart failure, etc.).
Patients with high galectin-1 levels were found to have a greater chance of adverse cardiological events compared to low galectin-1 level patients. Galectin-1 also outperformed hs-CRP in its ability to predict adverse events.

In this study, levels of the protein galectin-1 were found to correlate with an increased risk of adverse events amongst patients with coronary artery disease. Research suggests that galectin-1 is involved in regulating the inflammatory response, so its elevated levels may indicate inflammation in cardiovascular tissues, limiting blood flow, and cause dangerous events like heart attacks. Therefore, following its levels in patients could predict if they will experience these adverse events and allow the attending physician to prepare or prevent them.

The study concludes, "The predictive power of galectin-1 was superior to that of hs-CRP and non-inferior to that of the SYNTAX score. These findings provide novel evidence of galectin-1′s involvement in vascular inflammation and suggest that galectin-1 is an independent prognostic marker of CAD."

Sources: Nature Scientific Reports, khanacademymedicine

About the Author
  • Hey everyone! My name is Jasper and, considering I am pretty new here to Labroots, I figured I would introduce myself. I received my bachelor’s from the University of California at Riverside back in 2016. I started off my career a few years ago with a job at a University over in New York, before moving over into the industry. I'm happy to be writing content for Labroots, and I hope you enjoy it!
You May Also Like
AUG 22, 2020
Cardiology
Can Playing Your Favorite Music Improve Your Physical Performance?
AUG 22, 2020
Can Playing Your Favorite Music Improve Your Physical Performance?
If you go to the gym, you will usually see people with headphones jamming out to their favorite music while exercising. ...
AUG 27, 2020
Cardiology
Are Dry Mouth and Hypertension Connected?
AUG 27, 2020
Are Dry Mouth and Hypertension Connected?
Dry mouth is one of those things you sort of ignore until you can refill your water bottle. Maybe you should take a seco ...
AUG 30, 2020
Cardiology
Plant-Based Diets Are Healthier When Low in Processed Foods
AUG 30, 2020
Plant-Based Diets Are Healthier When Low in Processed Foods
While many research studies have shown that reducing meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is healthier, not all ...
SEP 18, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Open Your Heart to the World's Smallest Diagnostic Probe
SEP 18, 2020
Open Your Heart to the World's Smallest Diagnostic Probe
Certain health conditions require doctors to be able to observe tissues and organs in order to tell what’s wrong. ...
NOV 26, 2020
Cardiology
Possible Cardioprotective Effects of the Diabetes Drug Empagliflozin
NOV 26, 2020
Possible Cardioprotective Effects of the Diabetes Drug Empagliflozin
Cardiovascular disease and diabetes are often associated with each other, as many issues caused by diabetes promote hear ...
NOV 24, 2020
Cardiology
Patients on Statins Get the 'Nocebo Effect'
NOV 24, 2020
Patients on Statins Get the 'Nocebo Effect'
Millions of people around the world take statins to treat high cholesterol, which are estimated to reduce the risk of he ...
Loading Comments...