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Glycobiology. 2006 Jan;16(1):1R-27R. Epub 2005 Jul 13.

Siglecs--the major subfamily of I-type lectins.

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Research Center for Glycoscience, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568, Japan.


Animal glycan-recognizing proteins can be broadly classified into two groups-lectins (which typically contain an evolutionarily conserved carbohydrate-recognition domain [CRD]) and sulfated glycosaminoglycan (SGAG)-binding proteins (which appear to have evolved by convergent evolution). Proteins other than antibodies and T-cell receptors that mediate glycan recognition via immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains are called "I-type lectins." The major homologous subfamily of I-type lectins with sialic acid (Sia)-binding properties and characteristic amino-terminal structural features are called the "Siglecs" (Sia-recognizing Ig-superfamily lectins). The Siglecs can be divided into two groups: an evolutionarily conserved subgroup (Siglecs-1, -2, and -4) and a CD33/Siglec-3-related subgroup (Siglecs-3 and -5-13 in primates), which appear to be rapidly evolving. This article provides an overview of historical and current information about the Siglecs.

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