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Nat Immunol. 2004 Jan;5(1):88-97. Epub 2003 Dec 14.

The extracellular matrix protein mindin is a pattern-recognition molecule for microbial pathogens.

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Department of Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.


Microbial pathogens use a variety of their surface molecules to bind to host extracellular matrix (ECM) components to establish an effective infection. However, ECM components can also serve as an integral part of the innate immunity. Mice lacking expression of mindin (spondin 2), a highly conserved ECM protein, have an impaired ability to clear bacterial infection, and mindin-deficient macrophages show defective responses to a broad spectrum of microbial stimuli. Moreover, mindin binds directly to bacteria and their components and functions as an opsonin for macrophage phagocytosis of bacteria. Thus, mindin is essential in the initiation of the innate immune response and represents a unique pattern-recognition molecule in the ECM for microbial pathogens.

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