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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2005 Oct 18;108(1-2):97-110.

Comparative genetics and innate immune functions of collagenous lectins in animals.

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  • 1Department of Pathobiology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ont., Canada N1G 2W1.


Collagenous lectins such as mannan-binding lectins (MBLs), ficolins (FCNs), surfactant proteins A and D (SP-A, SP-D), conglutinin (CG), and related ruminant lectins are multimeric proteins with carbohydrate-binding domains aligned in a manner that facilitates binding to microbial surface polysaccharides. MBLs and FCNs are structurally related to C1q, but activate the lectin complement pathway via interaction with MBL-associated serine proteases (MASPs). MBLs, FCNs, and other collagenous lectins also bind to some host macromolecules and contribute to their removal. While there is evidence that some lectins and the lectin complement pathway are conserved in vertebrates, many differences in collagenous lectins have been observed among humans, rodents, and other vertebrates. For example, humans have only one MBL but three FCNs, whereas most other species express two FCNs and two MBLs. Bovidae express CG and other SP-D-related collectins that are not found in monogastric species. Some dysfunctions of human MBL are due to single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that affect its expression or structure and thereby increase susceptibility to some infections. Collagenous lectins have well-established roles in innate immunity to various microorganisms, so it is possible that some lectin genotypes or induced phenotypes influence resistance to some infectious or inflammatory diseases in animals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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