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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Nov;1143:45-60. doi: 10.1196/annals.1443.019.

beta-Glucans and dectin-1.

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Division of Immunology, CLS, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


beta-Glucans are naturally occurring carbohydrates that possess immune-modulating activities, but their mechanisms of action are largely unknown. Recent discoveries, however, including identification of beta-glucan receptors, such as dectin-1, have started to shed some light on the mechanisms underlying the properties of these carbohydrates. The characterization of dectin-1, in particular, has revealed some of the processes involved in beta-glucan sensing, intracellular signaling, and induction of cellular responses and has provided new insights into the role of beta-glucans in immunity and disease. Here we review both beta-glucans and their receptor, dectin-1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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