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J Biol Chem. 2000 Jul 21;275(29):22127-35.

Cloning, characterization, and phylogenetic analysis of siglec-9, a new member of the CD33-related group of siglecs. Evidence for co-evolution with sialic acid synthesis pathways.

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  • 1Glycobiology Research and Training Center, Department of Medicine and Cancer Center, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


The Siglecs are a subfamily of I-type lectins (immunoglobulin superfamily proteins that bind sugars) that specifically recognize sialic acids. We report the cloning and characterization of human Siglec-9. The cDNA encodes a type 1 transmembrane protein with three extracellular immunoglobulin-like domains and a cytosolic tail containing two tyrosines, one within a typical immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM). The N-terminal V-set Ig domain has most amino acid residues typical of Siglecs. Siglec-9 is expressed on granulocytes and monocytes. Expression of the full-length cDNA in COS cells induces sialic-acid dependent erythrocyte binding. A recombinant soluble form of the extracellular domain binds to alpha2-3 and alpha2-6-linked sialic acids. Typical of Siglecs, the carboxyl group and side chain of sialic acid are essential for recognition, and mutation of a critical arginine residue in domain 1 abrogates binding. The underlying glycan structure also affects binding, with Galbeta1-4Glc[NAc] being preferred. Siglec-9 shows closest homology to Siglec-7 and both belong to a Siglec-3/CD33-related subset of Siglecs (with Siglecs-5, -6, and -8). The Siglec-9 gene is on chromosome 19q13.3-13.4, in a cluster with all Siglec-3/CD33-related Siglec genes, suggesting their origin by gene duplications. A homology search of the Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans genomes suggests that Siglec expression may be limited to animals of deuterostome lineage, coincident with the appearance of the genes of the sialic acid biosynthetic pathway.

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