C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) comprise a large superfamily of proteins, which recognise a diverse range of ligands, and are defined by the presence of at least one C-type lectin-like domain (CTLD). Of particular interest are the single extracellular CTLD-containing receptors of the 'Dectin-1' and 'Dectin-2' clusters, which associate with signalling adaptors or possess integral intracellular signalling domains. These CLRs have traditionally been associated with the recognition of fungi, but recent discoveries have revealed diverse and unexpected functions. In this review, we describe their newly identified roles in anti-microbial host defence, homeostasis, autoimmunity, allergy and their functions in the recognition and response to dead and cancerous cells.
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