DC-SIGN: escape mechanism for pathogens

Nat Rev Immunol. 2003 Sep;3(9):697-709. doi: 10.1038/nri1182.


Dendritic cells (DCs) are crucial in the defence against pathogens. Invading pathogens are recognized by Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and receptors such as C-type lectins expressed on the surface of DCs. However, it is becoming evident that some pathogens, including viruses, such as HIV-1, and non-viral pathogens, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis, subvert DC functions to escape immune surveillance by targeting the C-type lectin DC-SIGN (DC-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-grabbing nonintegrin). Notably, these pathogens misuse DC-SIGN by distinct mechanisms that either circumvent antigen processing or alter TLR-mediated signalling, skewing T-cell responses. This implies that adaptation of pathogens to target DC-SIGN might support pathogen survival.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / immunology*
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV-1 / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lectins, C-Type / immunology*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / immunology*
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology*
  • Tuberculosis / immunology


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