How is the phagocyte lectin keyboard played? Master class lesson by Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Trends Microbiol. 2003 Jun;11(6):259-63. doi: 10.1016/s0966-842x(03)00102-1.


Mammals have evolved surface pattern recognition receptors, such as the Toll-like receptors, to initiate defenses against pathogens, including mycobacterium. In turn, microbes have developed strategies to circumvent defenses of their host and establish persistent infections. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, one of the most successful pathogens worldwide, has the ability to parasitize and manipulate phagocytic cells of its human host. A set of recent reports has shed light on exploitation of phagocyte surface lectins by the tubercle bacillus. These findings could lead the way to innovative therapeutic approaches.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Dendritic Cells / microbiology
  • Lectins / metabolism*
  • Lectins, C-Type / metabolism
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages / microbiology
  • Models, Biological
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / growth & development
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / pathogenicity*
  • Phagocytes / metabolism
  • Phagocytes / microbiology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism


  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • DC-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin
  • Lectins
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Receptors, Cell Surface