Expression of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-binding lectin DC-SIGNR: Consequences for HIV infection and immunity

Hum Pathol. 2002 Jun;33(6):652-9. doi: 10.1053/hupa.2002.124036.


DC-SIGNR is a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-binding C-type lectin that is expressed on endothelium in the hepatic sinusoids, lymph node sinuses and placenta. Like closely related DC-SIGN, DC-SIGNR can bind both ICAM-3 and HIV and can potentiate HIV infection of T lymphocytes in trans. In the present study we have investigated reasons underlying the restricted distribution of DC-SIGNR and have examined DC-SIGNR expression in relation to HIV entry receptors. We show that DC-SIGNR expression does not depend on endothelial cell specialization or on activation state. DC-SIGNR-positive endothelium continues to express DC-SIGNR in conditions of hyperplasia, whereas the molecule is lost after neoplastic transformation, most likely as a result of changes in the microenvironment of the endothelial cells. We have further shown that CCR5, but not CD4, is coexpressed with DC-SIGNR on hepatic sinusoidal and placental capillary endothelial cells. However, CD4-positive CCR5-positive cells, such as hepatic Kupffer cells, placental Hofbauer cells, and CD4-positive T lymphocytes in lymph nodes, can be found adjacent to DC-SIGNR-positive endothelium. Therefore, DC-SIGNR may be able to mediate HIV infection of these cells in trans. Finally, we demonstrate that DC-SIGN and DC-SIGNR can be coexpressed on lymph node sinus endothelial cells, which may lead to modulation of the function of both molecules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CD4 Antigens / biosynthesis
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Line
  • Chickens
  • E-Selectin / analysis
  • Endothelium / cytology
  • Endothelium / metabolism*
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • HIV-1*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • Hemangioma / complications
  • Hemangioma / pathology
  • Humans
  • Lectins / biosynthesis*
  • Lectins, C-Type*
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Lymph Nodes / pathology
  • Phenotype
  • Rabbits
  • Receptors, CCR5 / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / biosynthesis*
  • Surface Properties


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • CD4 Antigens
  • CLEC4M protein, human
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • DC-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin
  • E-Selectin
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • Lectins
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Receptors, CCR5
  • Receptors, Cell Surface