Glycan recognition by human blood mononuclear cells with an emphasis on dendritic cells

Glycoconj J. 2018 Apr;35(2):191-203. doi: 10.1007/s10719-017-9811-6. Epub 2018 Jan 31.


Dendritic cells (DCs) play crucial roles in innate and adaptive immune response, for which reason targeting antigen to these cells is an important strategy for improvement of vaccine development. To this end, we explored recognition of DCs lectins by glycans. For selection of the glycan "vector", a library of 229 fluorescent glycoprobes was employed to assess interaction with the CD14low/-CD16+CD83+ blood mononuclear cell population containing the DCs known for their importance in antigen presentation to T-lymphocytes. It was found that: 1) the glycan-binding profiles of this CD14low/-CD16+CD83+ subpopulation were similar but not identical to DCs of monocyte origin (moDCs); 2) the highest percentage of probe-positive cells in this CD14 low/-CD16+CD83+ subpopulation was observed for GalNAcα1-2Galβ (Adi), (Neu5Acα)3 and three mannose-reach glycans; 3) subpopulation of CD14low/-CD16+ cells preferentially bound 4'-O-Su-LacdiNAc. Considering the published data on specificity of DCs binding, the glycans showing particular selectivity for the CD14 low/-CD16+CD83+ cells are likely interacting with macrophage galactose binding lectin (MGL), siglec-7 and dectin-2. In contrast, DC-SIGN is not apparently involved, even in case of mannose-rich glycans. Taking into consideration potential in vivo competition between glycan "vectors" and glycans within glycocalyx, attempting to target vaccine to DCs glycan-binding receptors should focus on Adi and (Neu5Acα)3 as the most promising vectors.

Keywords: DC-SIGN; Dendritic cells; Glycans; Lectins; MGL; MMR; Monocytes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lectins / chemistry
  • Lectins / metabolism*
  • Monocytes / metabolism*
  • Polysaccharides / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding


  • Lectins
  • Polysaccharides