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monoclonal antibody, bacterial membrane, genetic transfection, macrophage, protein interaction, spleen, Streptococcus pneumoniae


SIGN-R1, a recently discovered C-type lectin expressed at high levels on macrophages within the marginal zone of the spleen, mediates the uptake of dextran polysaccharides by these phagocytes. We now find that encapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae are rapidly cleared by these macrophages from the bloodstream, and that capture also takes place when different cell lines express SIGN-R1 after transfection. To assess the role of the capsular polysaccharide of S. pneumoniae(CPS) in the interaction of SIGN-R1 with pneumococci, we first studied binding and uptake of serotype 14 CPS in transfected cells. Binding was observed and was of a much higher avidity (3,000-fold) for CPS 14 than dextran. The CPSs from four different serotypes were also cleared by marginal zone macrophages in vivo. To establish a role for SIGN-R1 in this uptake, we selectively down-regulated expression of the lectin by pretreatment of the mice with SIGN-R1 antibodies, including a newly generated hamster monoclonal called 22D1. For several days after this transient knockout, the marginal zone macrophages were unable to take up either CPSs or dextrans. Therefore, marginal zone macrophages in mice have a receptor that interacts with capsular pneumococcal polysaccharides, setting the stage for further studies of the functional consequences of this interaction.


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