Dr. Liu, Fu-Tong 's publons link picture

Dr. Liu, Fu-Tong

Corresponding Research Fellow
Academician, Academia Sinica
  • 02-2652-3056 (Office)

  • Galectins
  • Allergic Inflammation
  • Immune-mediated dermatoses

Education and Positions:
    • Ph.D. University of Chicago
    • M.D. University of Miami, School of Medicine

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Intracellular Galectin-9 Enhances Proximal TCR Signaling and Potentiates Autoimmune Diseases.

Dr. Liu, Fu-Tong
J Immunol, Mar 01, 2020

Galectin-9 is a risk gene in inflammatory bowel disease. By transcriptomic analyses of ileal biopsies and PBMCs from inflammatory bowel disease patients, we identified a positive correlation between galectin-9 expression and colitis severity. We observed that galectin-9–deficient T cells were less able to induce T cell–mediated colitis. However, several mouse-based studies reported that galectin-9 treatment induces T cell apoptosis and ameliorates autoimmune diseases in an exogenously modulated manner, indicating a complicated regulation of galectin-9 in T cells. We found that galectin-9 is expressed mainly inside T cells, and its secreted form is barely detected under physiological conditions. Endogenous galectin-9 was recruited to immune synapses upon T cell activation. Moreover, proximal TCR signaling was impaired in galectin-9–deficient T cells, and proliferation of these cells was decreased through an intracellularly modulated manner. Th17 cell differentiation was downregulated in galectin-9–deficient T cells, and this impairment can be rescued by strong TCR signaling. Taken together, these findings suggest that intracellular galectin-9 is a positive regulator of T cell activation and modulates the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.