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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Cytosolic galectin-4 enchains bacteria, restricts their motility, and promotes inflammasome activation in intestinal epithelial cells

Dr. Liu, Fu-Tong
PNAS, Jan 23, 2023




Galectin-4, a member of the galectin family of animal glycan-binding proteins (GBPs), is specifically expressed in gastrointestinal epithelial cells and is known to be able to bind microbes. However, its function in host-gut microbe interactions remains unknown. Here, we show that intracellular galectin-4 in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) coats cytosolic Salmonella enterica serovar Worthington and induces the formation of bacterial chains and aggregates. Galectin-4 enchains bacteria during their growth by binding to the O-antigen of lipopolysaccharides. Furthermore, the binding of galectin-4 to bacterial surfaces restricts intracellular bacterial motility. Galectin-4 enhances caspase-1 activation and mature IL-18 production in infected IECs especially when autophagy is inhibited. Finally, orally administered S. enterica serovar Worthington, which is recognized by human galectin-4 but not mouse galectin-4, translocated from the intestines to mesenteric lymph nodes less effectively in human galectin-4-transgenic mice than in littermate controls. Our results suggest that galectin-4 plays an important role in host-gut microbe interactions and prevents the dissemination of pathogens. The results of the study revealed a novel mechanism of host-microbe interactions that involves the direct binding of cytosolic lectins to glycans on intracellular microbes.