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Immunobiology. 1998 Aug;199(2):165-89.

Structural aspects of collectins and receptors for collectins.

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Dept. of Medical Microbiology, Odense University, Denmark.


The collectins are oligomeric molecules composed of C-type lectin domains attached to collagen regions via alpha-coiled neck regions. Five members of the collectins have been characterized. Mannan-binding lectin (MBL), conglutinin and collectin-43 (CL-43) are serum proteins produced by the liver. Lung surfactant protein A (SP-A) and lung surfactant protein D (SP-D) are mainly found in the lung, where they are synthesized by alveolar type II cells and secreted to the alveolar surface. The collectins are believed to play an important role in innate immunity. They bind oligosaccharides on the surface of a variety of microbial pathogens. After binding of the collectins to the microbial surface effector mechanisms such as agglutination, neutralizing or opsonization of the microorganisms for phagocytosis are initiated. SP-A and SP-D stimulate chemotaxis of phagocytes and once bound to the phagocytes, the production of oxygen radicals can be induced. In the case of MBL the opsonization can be further enhanced by complement activation via the MBLectin pathway while conglutinin interacts with the complement system by binding to the complement degradation product iC3b. A number of receptors and binding molecules interacting with the collectins are found on the membrane or in association with the membrane of various cells responsible for phagocytosis and clearance of microorganisms. This paper focus on the structural aspects of the collectins and the receptors for collectins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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