Figure 1: The structure and function of the galectin family members. (A) The galectin family members are divided into three types: the prototype with one carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD), the tandem-repeat type with two CRDs connected by a non-conserved linker, and the chimeric type with one CRD and a non-lectin N-terminal domain (ND). Some galectins can self-associate into dimers or oligomers. (B) Biological functions of extracellular galectins. Bivalent or multivalent galectins crosslink their receptors on the same cell for intracellular signal transduction, two different cells for cell-cell interaction, or cell and extracellular matrix (ECM) for cell-ECM interaction.