Dual function of C-type lectin-like receptors in the immune system

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2003 Oct;15(5):539-46. doi: 10.1016/j.ceb.2003.08.004.


Carbohydrate-binding C-type lectin and lectin-like receptors play an important role in the immune system. The large family can be subdivided into subtypes according to their structural similarities and functional differences. The selectins are of major importance in mediating cell adhesion and migration, and the mannose receptor subfamily is specialised in the binding and uptake of pathogens. Recent advances show that some of the type II C-type lectin-like receptors, such as DC-SIGN, can function both as an adhesion receptor and as a phagocytic pathogen-recognition receptor, similar to the Toll-like receptors. Although major differences in the cytoplasmic domains of these receptors might predict their function, recent findings show that differences in glycosylation of ligands can dramatically alter C-type lectin-like receptor usage.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / immunology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / immunology
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules / metabolism
  • Cell Communication
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology
  • Dimerization
  • Endocytosis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immune System / metabolism*
  • Lectins, C-Type / immunology
  • Lectins, C-Type / metabolism
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / immunology
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Receptors, LDL / metabolism
  • Receptors, Mitogen / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Oxidized LDL
  • Scavenger Receptors, Class E
  • Selectins / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Toll-Like Receptors


  • Antigens, CD
  • Cell Adhesion Molecules
  • DC-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin
  • ICAM3 protein, human
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • OLR1 protein, human
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, LDL
  • Receptors, Mitogen
  • Receptors, Oxidized LDL
  • Scavenger Receptors, Class E
  • Selectins
  • Toll-Like Receptors