CLEC12A Binds to Legionella pneumophila but Has No Impact on the Host's Antibacterial Response

Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Feb 15;24(4):3891. doi: 10.3390/ijms24043891.


Legionella pneumophila is an intracellular pathogen that can cause severe pneumonia after the inhalation of contaminated aerosols and replication in alveolar macrophages. Several pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) have been identified that contribute to the recognition of L. pneumophila by the innate immune system. However, the function of the C-type lectin receptors (CLRs), which are mainly expressed by macrophages and other myeloid cells, remains largely unexplored. Here, we used a library of CLR-Fc fusion proteins to search for CLRs that can bind the bacterium and identified the specific binding of CLEC12A to L. pneumophila. Subsequent infection experiments in human and murine macrophages, however, did not provide evidence for a substantial role of CLEC12A in controlling innate immune responses to the bacterium. Consistently, antibacterial and inflammatory responses to Legionella lung infection were not significantly influenced by CLEC12A deficiency. Collectively, CLEC12A is able to bind to L. pneumophila-derived ligands but does not appear to play a major role in the innate defense against L. pneumophila.

Keywords: C-type lectin receptors; CLEC12A; Legionella pneumophila; macrophages.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Innate*
  • Lectins, C-Type* / metabolism
  • Legionella pneumophila* / immunology
  • Legionnaires' Disease* / immunology
  • Legionnaires' Disease* / microbiology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Macrophages, Alveolar / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Receptors, Mitogen* / immunology


  • CLEC12A protein, human
  • Lectins, C-Type
  • Receptors, Mitogen