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Cell. 2000 Mar 3;100(5):587-97.

DC-SIGN, a dendritic cell-specific HIV-1-binding protein that enhances trans-infection of T cells.

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  • 1Department of Tumor Immunology, University Medical Center St. Radboud, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


Dendritic cells (DC) capture microorganisms that enter peripheral mucosal tissues and then migrate to secondary lymphoid organs, where they present these in antigenic form to resting T cells and thus initiate adaptive immune responses. Here, we describe the properties of a DC-specific C-type lectin, DC-SIGN, that is highly expressed on DC present in mucosal tissues and binds to the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120. DC-SIGN does not function as a receptor for viral entry into DC but instead promotes efficient infection in trans of cells that express CD4 and chemokine receptors. We propose that DC-SIGN efficiently captures HIV-1 in the periphery and facilitates its transport to secondary lymphoid organs rich in T cells, to enhance infection in trans of these target cells.

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