Five mouse homologues of the human dendritic cell C-type lectin, DC-SIGN

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amino acid sequence, chromosome 8, endothelium cell, dendritic cell, lymph node cell, macrophage


DC-SIGN, a human C-type lectin, is expressed on the surface of dendritic cells (DC), while a closely related human gene, DC-SIGNR or L-SIGN, is found on sinusoidal endothelial cells of liver and lymph node. Both DC-SIGN and DC-SIGNR/L-SIGN can bind ICAM-3 and HIV gp120, and transmit HIV to susceptible cells in trans. Here, we report the cloning of five mouse genes homologous to human DC-SIGN and DC-SIGNR/L-SIGN. Only one gene, named mouse DC-SIGN, is highly expressed in DC, and is not found in a panel of mouse macrophage and lymphocyte cell lines. The other four genes, named mouse SIGNR1 (SIGN-Related gene 1), SIGNR2, SIGNR3 and SIGNR4, are expressed at lower levels in various cells according to RT-PCR and Northern blot analyses on RNA. All the genes of mouse DC-SIGN and SIGNRs map to adjacent regions of chromosome 8 A1.2-1.3. However, like human DC-SIGN, only the mouse DC-SIGN gene is closely juxtaposed to the CD23 gene, while the other four SIGNR genes are located close to each other in a neighboring region. mRNAs of mouse DC-SIGN and three SIGNR genes encode type II transmembrane proteins (DC-SIGN, 238 amino acids; SIGNR1, 325 amino acids; SIGNR3, 237 amino acids; SIGNR4, 208 amino acids), but the SIGNR2 gene only encodes a carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) without a cytosolic domain and a transmembrane domain (SIGNR2, 178 amino acids). Amino acid sequence similarities between the CRD of human DC-SIGN and the mouse homologues are 67% for DC-SIGN, 69% for SIGNR1, 65% for SIGNR2, 68% for SIGNR3 and 70% for SIGNR4 respectively. However, the membrane proximal neck domains in the mouse genes are much shorter than their counterparts in human DC-SIGN and DC-SIGNR/L-SIGN. This family of mouse C-type lectins is therefore complex, but only one of the new genes, DC-SIGN, is juxtaposed to CD23 and is expressed at high levels in DC.


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