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Blood. 2001 Jan 1;97(1):288-96.

Characterization of human sialoadhesin, a sialic acid binding receptor expressed by resident and inflammatory macrophage populations.

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  • 1Imperial Cancer Research Fund Laboratories, Oxford, United Kingdom.


Sialoadhesin is a macrophage-restricted cellular interaction molecule and a prototypic member of the Siglec family of sialic acid binding immunoglobulin (Ig)-like lectins. So far, it has only been characterized in rodents. Here, we report the molecular cloning, binding properties, and expression pattern of human sialoadhesin. The predicted protein sequences of human and mouse sialoadhesin are about 72% identical, with the greatest similarity in the extracellular region, which comprises 17 Ig domains in both species. A recombinant protein consisting of the first 4 N-terminal domains of human sialoadhesin fused to the Fc region of human IgG1 mediated sialic acid-dependent binding with a specificity similar to its mouse counterpart, preferring sialic acid in the alpha2,3 glycosidic linkage over the alpha2,6 linkage. By flow cytometry with peripheral blood leukocytes, recombinant sialoadhesin bound strongly to granulocytes with intermediate binding to monocytes, natural killer cells, B cells, and a subset of CD8 T cells. Using antibodies raised to the recombinant protein, sialoadhesin was immunoprecipitated from the THP-1 human monocytic cell line as an approximate 200-kd glycoprotein. The expression pattern of human sialoadhesin was found to be similar to that of the mouse receptor, being absent from monocytes and other peripheral blood leukocytes, but expressed strongly by tissue macrophages in the spleen, lymph node, bone marrow, liver, colon, and lungs. High expression was also found on inflammatory macrophages present in affected tissues from patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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