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Infect Agents Dis. 1992 Aug;1(4):194-9.

The role of mannose-binding proteins in host defense.

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Harvard Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115.


The human mannose-binding protein (MBP) appears to function as an "ante-antibody" as its physiological role is in first line host defense. Low baseline serum levels are rapidly increased as part of the acute phase reactant and circulating MBP can act as a direct opsonin or activate the classical alternative complement pathway. MBP appears to selectively recognize an array of apparently disparate oligosaccharides that decorate gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria as well as certain parasites, yeasts, and fungi. MBP may be considered a "pattern" recognition molecule that has homologs in primitive life forms. Its ability to distinguish self from nonself indicates that it may play an important role in innate immunity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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