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Blood. 2006 May 15;107(10):3950-8. Epub 2006 Jan 24.

DC-SIGN ligation on dendritic cells results in ERK and PI3K activation and modulates cytokine production.

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  • 1Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Ramiro de Maeztu 9, Madrid 28040, Spain.


The generation of pathogen-specific immune responses is dependent on the signaling capabilities of pathogen-recognition receptors. DC-SIGN is a C-type lectin that mediates capture and internalization of viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens by myeloid dendritic cells. DC-SIGN-interacting pathogens are thought to modulate dendritic cell maturation by interfering with intracellular signaling from Toll-like receptor molecules. We report that engagement of DC-SIGN by specific antibodies does not promote dendritic cell maturation but induces ERK1/2 and Akt phosphorylation without concomitant p38MAPK activation. DC-SIGN ligation also triggers PLCgamma phosphorylation and transient increases in intracellular calcium in dendritic cells. In agreement with its signaling capabilities, a fraction of DC-SIGN molecules partitions within lipid raft-enriched membrane fractions both in DC-SIGN-transfected and dendritic cells. Moreover, DC-SIGN in dendritic cells coprecipitates with the tyrosine kinases Lyn and Syk. The relevance of the DC-SIGN-initiated signals was demonstrated in monocyte-derived dendritic cells, as DC-SIGN cross-linking synergizes with TNF-alpha for IL-10 release and enhances the production of LPS-induced IL-10. These results demonstrate that DC-SIGN-triggered intracellular signals modulate dendritic cell maturation. Since pathogens stimulate Th2 responses via preferential activation of ERK1/2, these results provide a molecular explanation for the ability of DC-SIGN-interacting pathogens to preferentially evoke Th2-type immune responses.

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